Beat the Streets Philadelphia has recently moved in to our new office space at 3700 Market Street Suite 300, which will be the central location for the Mentoring Center. We believe that the use of near-peer mentors will be instrumental in building strong relationships to best benefit the student-athletes being supported, so recruiting of mentors has been primarily through local universities. Therefore, having the mentoring center located in proximity to some of these universities will be a key to our success. Our new office is located in University City, only blocks away from the center of both University of Penn’s and Drexel’s campuses!
Our University City location will better facilitate our efforts through the mentoring program in many ways. As opposed to years in the past where mentoring sessions were set up by sending mentors out to the schools of our student-athletes or meeting in a neutral setting, we are now able to hold all mentoring sessions under our own roof. This allows for BTS to best support both sides of the mentor-mentee relationships, and ensure that every student-athlete is getting the most out of their time spent with their mentor. As one enters the Mentoring Center, they are immediately greeted in a lobby area, where BTS staff sets up shop. The space consists of 6 separate offices, allowing a focused setting for several sessions to be taking place simultaneously without distraction. Also included is a kitchen, so students and mentors can keep their brain and body fueled for optimal productivity. Its important that our mentoring center is an environment that both mentors and students enjoy coming to, and our new facility definitely fits the bill.
In addition, our University City location gives us the opportunity to utilize the athletic facilities of the nearby schools, augmenting the enthusiasm of the student-athletes involved in the mentoring program. The University of Pennsylvania has been gracious enough to host many of our wrestling events at their historical arena, the Palestra! Penn has also partnered with BTS-Philly to create additional training opportunities for our student-athletes, having them participate in the Philadelphia Wrestling Club (PWC). The PWC has been hosting practices for dedicated athletes across PA and NJ to supplement their current training regimens throughout the season, and will continue to hold practice as an off-season training opportunity for BTS mentoring students. As the goal of BTS-Philly is to engage students in improving their skills both on and off the mat, participation in this club run by the Coaching Staff of UPenn will be an integral piece of the overall design.
The establishment of the Mentoring Center is a critical step in Beat the Streets Philadelphia's goal of altering the trajectory of the lives for the participants in our program and we are excited to provide this much needed support to our students.