Beat the Streets Wrestling Program of Philadelphia
What Does Hero Mean?
We have the opportunity to witness heroes on a regular basis who consistently go above and beyond to support youth from challenging backgrounds day in and day out. These heroes are teachers, mentors, staff members, former participants and partners that are truly committed to devoting time and resources to help alter the life trajectory of kids through the programs we support with Beat the Streets Philadelphia.
Being awarded the Hero Award would allow us to not only shine a light on the individuals that are really making everything we support possible on a regular basis, but would allow us to recreate what has occurred at Belmont Charter and many other locations within additional communities throughout Philadelphia.
About Beat the Streets Wrestling Program of Philadelphia
The Beat the Streets Wrestling Program of Philadelphia is committed to helping establish youth wrestling programs in the Philadelphia metropolitan region. The organization works to foster the holistic development of student-athletes by providing the resources to support an athletic program and an academic tutoring program across a group of local schools and community programs. Beat the Streets runs programs in 22 Philadelphia-area locations, primarily in extremely under-resourced neighborhoods, and serves over 1,200 students with between 100 and 400 hours of programming on an annual basis. Find out more at http://btsphilly.org/.
Belmont Charter, a school located at 40th and Brown in West Philadelphia, is one of our programs where I have seen amazing acts of devotion and support that have resulted in kids and families truly committing to better themselves. The surrounding community involves high crime, high drug activity and a general lack of resources for the youth to access during their most critical years. The school has become an amazing partner and as a result there is high parental involvement, amazing amounts of teacher support and a number of success stories that would otherwise not occur. I am biased in thinking that wrestling brings a lot to the table in terms of character development, but in reality the activity itself has little to do with the impact that is being made.
In a community where wrestling has little to no history, the K-8 school has 160 of the less than 500 students that participate in the sport. Many of those participants also participate in our mentoring program and we are now seeing former students who have successfully transitioned to high school and beyond coming back to help on a consistent basis. Former students are now able to attend schools such as Central HS, Palumbo HS and William Penn Charter. Many are about to apply for college and are legitimate candidates for schools such as the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown and Bucknell. None of those kids fit the typical profile for those schools and come from homes that lack the resources generally required to succeed at that level.