BTS-Philly prepares to wrap up our 2014 off-season training with the send-off to wrestling camp at Lock Haven University and our Fargo qualifiers’ departure to the national team training camp. The progress made by student-athletes who consistently practiced and competed during the freestyle wrestling season is a true testament to the value of year-round training. While everybody can work hard during the regular season, those who continue to train through the spring and summer months make invaluable gains on their competitors who choose to take that time off. With that theme in mind, BTS-Philly recognizes the student-athletes within the Mentoring Program who will be utilizing their summer vacation from school to take part in our inaugural Summer Scholar courses. These committed individuals realize the power of year-round training of both mind and body, and will be spending their free time this summer to get ahead in their academic careers as well. The BTS-Philly Mentoring Center has partnered with teachers from School Lane Charter, Council Rock School District, and Mariana Bracetti Academy to run a 6-week summer course for 7th-9th graders. The middle school summer course curriculum is designed to develop skills in both Math and Language Arts that will be conducive to success at the high school level, as well as enhancing performance on standardized tests such as the PSSA and SSAT. The Mentoring Center has also partnered with an organization called Tomorrow’s Genius in developing a course for high school students. Tomorrow’s Genius operates remotely out of New York City, and creates a virtual classroom environment tailored to the academic abilities and specific learning styles for each of the students enrolled. By building skills in Math and Language Arts, the course promotes improved performance in high school classes, standardized tests such as the SATs/ACTs, and prepares students for college. You can learn more about Tomorrow’s Genius by visiting their website at www.tomorrowsgenius.com Both the MS and HS courses will operate in a small group setting of 6-10 students per class. A licensed educator and three teacher’s aides will run each class, creating an extremely focused learning environment with a high instructor-to-student ratio. The teacher’s aides were selected from University of Pennsylvania/Drexel University applicants who have experience working as BTS-Philly near-peer mentors and recently graduated BTS-Philly student-athletes with the desire to give back to the program. Each class also includes a unit on Mindfulness, a discipline revolving around mental awareness/preparation. These exercises promote the ability to focus on both academic and athletic tasks, which will help our student-athletes gain the mental edge that is crucial for performing to the height of their potential both on and off the mat. The Summer Scholars program will also include a number of cultural experiences – fun and educational field trips to local establishments such as the Philadelphia Art Museum, The Franklin Institute, and more!