My name is Ron Palmer. I am a 2016 graduate from Mariana Bracetti High School where I was a 4-year wrestler, 3-time Public League champion, 2-time District 12 champion, and MBA's first 1st 2-time Academic All-American. Currently, I go to Kutztown University of Pennsylvania where I’m a member of the wrestling team and I’m majoring in Marketing. Beat the Streets has contributed a lot to my success both on and off the mat. School wasn't always my top-priority, but my mentors worked with me and taught me how important an education was. They taught me how to stay organized, helped me to develop good study habits, and showed me how to set personal goals. The lessons they taught me over the years are a big reason I was so successful in the classroom and I give those guys a lot of credit for helping me to become the student I am today. But my mentors didn't just help me to become a better student, they helped me become a better man. Life-lessons about hard-work, dedication, and standing up for your beliefs were just a few of the deeper conversations I had with my mentors, and some of the things they taught me will stay with me forever. To put it simply, Beat the Streets gave me the tools and the opportunity to succeed; and that was all I ever needed! The things I learned from my wrestling career with Beat the Streets are things I want all the kids who come from my neighborhood to have. Laying the blueprints for other youth wrestlers so that they can follow in my footsteps is something that continues to motivated me as I continue to be involved with Beat the Streets. Although I’m nearly two and a half hours away during the school year, I still give back as much as possible while I’m in college. When I'm home, I head over to practice at MBA or PAL or stop by the Mentoring Center to see what the kids are up to. When I came through, there was no 'wrestling culture' in Philadelphia; but now, I'm a part of the culture that's emerging. Because of my success on the mat and in the classroom, I know that I'm a role model to many of these younger kids and I don't ever want to let them down. After graduation, I plan to stay hands-on as much as possible and show kids all that is possible with just a little confidence. Anything is possible with God by your side and the right support system in place. Beat the Streets gave me the support I needed to believe in myself, fight for what's mine, and be successful. I'm not done though. I'm going to keep working, keep getting better, and continue to be someone the next generation of Beat the Streets wrestlers can be proud of!
James Mangan is the Executive Director of Beat the Streets Philadelphia. James comes with a depth of experience from all...Read More »