In this episode of the podcast, we have the privilege to speak with Beat the Streets Philly alum Aboubakare Diaby. As with many of our podcast guests, Aboubakare has been involved in so many different aspects of the Beat the Streets community and serves as an important role model for many of our youth.
Aboubakare began wrestling for Mastery Charter in the 7th grade when an English teacher mentioned his competitive nature would serve him well on the mat. And he took to it right away. But more importantly, it was fun.
Off the mat, Aboubakare became very involved in the BTS mentoring center. “At the Mentoring Center, I got to interact with a lot of different people and build new experiences.” It was there that Aboubakare met his mentor, former podcast guest Ousmane Diara (BTS Philly Podcast: Ousmane Diarra – Beat the Streets)
“He got to go to Central High School, which was the school that I was applying to for my eighth-grade year,” explains Aboubakare. “So, he was a great role model for me and was very impactful in my life.”
Ousmane’s mentorship didn’t end there though.
“He guided me through the high school application process and the college application process. And he warned me of all the mistakes he made so I wouldn't be making them over again. And that really pushed me up and gave me an advantage and helped me to achieve my goals of going to Drexel University and wrestling for them.”
Thanks to the guidance he received, Aboubakare now attends Drexel University, where he is a member of the wrestling team and studies Mechanical Engineering. But Aboubakare doesn’t stop there and continues to set high goals for himself. “I want to get my Master's in mechanical engineering by my fifth year,” he explains. “And athletically. I want to break the starting lineup at Drexel.”
As BTSP Executive Director James Mangan points out in this episode, “It's so amazing when you hear that the first goal on the list is an academic goal. A lot of people know that Beat the Streets is a wrestling organization. But when we work with student athletes, the student part comes first and that shines in Aboubakare’s story.”