Each month, Beat the Streets Philadelphia recognizes one student-athlete as ‘Wrestler of the Month.’ Selections are made based on recommendations from coaches, mentors, and/or BTS staff. For January, we have selected Kenneth Purvis of Frankford High School!
Executive Director, James Mangan spent some time with Kenny just before the start of the featured match of the month; Frankford at South Philadelphia. Audio from this interview can be found at the bottom of this article.
Kenny, a senior at Frankford High School and Juniata resident has a positive energy that is a pleasure to be around. His 6 foot tall, 270 lb frame is naturally balanced with a smile that never fades. When speaking with him it is obvious he has a positive outlook on life. Considering the things Kenny has to overcome on a daily basis, his personality is an inspiration.
“It’s a hard neighborhood, so we all go through a lot”
Kenny comes off as a natural leader amongst his peers. It would make sense that his favorite class offered at Frankford is Peer Group Connection taught by Mrs. Damond. Having that support system in the school encouraged Kenny to be active in other ways, including improving his own physical health. Kenny met former Mariana Bracetti Academy wrestler and current Beat the Streets mentor Edwin Morales three years ago at the same neighborhood gym. It is there that Kenny was motivated by Edwin to begin wrestling. As a 10th grader Kenny was 40 lbs heavier than the maximum weight class, but that didn’t discourage him. The nature of wrestling challenges individuals both physically and mentally helping many achieve goals otherwise thought to be impossible.
“I lost a total of 5o pounds, I feel a lot better.”
On the year, Kenny is undefeated in the Public League, more impressive is his commitment to success in the classroom. Kenny plans to finish this marking period with second honors. Frankford’s Head Coach Joe Farina understands the importance of putting academics first. That message is reinforced at every wrestling practice as part of a holistic development philosophy. Upon graduation Kenny has his eye’s set on attending Brightwood Career institute to pursue a career as an electrician. It is clear Kenny knows where he is going, but he admits there is still some unfinished business on the mat as a senior…
“I want to make it to States, I want to go all the way in my last year!”
If you would like to contribute to Beat the Streets and help to create more opportunities for kids like Kenneth Purvis, you can visit our Donate Now page here. If you would like to consider giving in other ways, either as a mentor or wrestling coach, please fill out one of our interest forms and we’ll be in touch!
Audio from the interview: