In the city of Philadelphia just 68% of Freshman will go on to graduate on time: of that group of graduating seniors only 55% will enroll in college during the following fall semester. Compare that to the Pennsylvania graduation rate of 86% and college enrollment of 70%. Percentages are showing that Philadelphia is clearly under performing in these key areas of education outcomes. Another way to look at these percentages is by looking at a sample size of 100 freshman students. In Philadelphia 68 will graduate on time with 37 out of the original 100 enrolling in college the following fall semester: compared to 60 out of 100 freshman from Pennsylvania. In other words a freshman from a school in Pennsylvania is almost twice as likely to attend college after graduation as a freshman from the city of Philadelphia. The good news is BTSP student athletes are already outperforming their peers in these performance measures. 98% of BTSP student athletes graduate on time with 71% post secondary enrollment rate! Unfortunately that isn’t the end of the story, because despite these compelling statistics there are other challenges that need to be considered.
As a youth development organization, BTSP has the unique ability to serve young men and women, of all ages and athletic abilities. With 28 locations throughout the greater Philadelphia region and our BTSP Mentoring Center located in the heart of Upenn and Drexel campuses in University City. Using the sport of wrestling as a shared experience, deep relationships are formed. Thanks to our strong partnership with Penn and Drexel Wrestling programs the majority of our 1:1 mentoring matches are created between Division I college wrestlers and BTSP High school student-athletes from vastly different socioeconomic backgrounds. As these relationships are fostered individuals often discovered they have much more in common than wrestling, while also realizing some things were absolutely different.
A majority of BTSP students-athletes come from schools that are not fully equipped to handle guidance counseling and many families do not have the necessary experience and or resources to explore their post secondary options properly. Unlike BTSP student-athletes, it’s very common for the Penn and Drexel wrestlers to have visited multiple campuses before making a final decision on where they would pursue their post secondary journey. To the contrary many BTSP student-athletes report making their final decision without ever formally visiting any campuses!
BTSP is committed to address the limited access by offering ten trips to fifteen college campuses during the 2019-20 school year.
The first of which occurred this past week with a private tour of Bucknell University, by the University’s Head Wrestling Coach Dan Wirnsberger, Alumni William Graham and active Bucknell wrestlers Zach Hartman and Brandon Seidman. Thanks to the compassionate network of wrestlers throughout Pennsylvania and across the nation, BTSP is positioned to continue creating unique experiences catered to the individual needs of BTSP student-athletes. These formal college campus visits when aligned with quality athletic programming and academic mentoring including SAT / ACT prep will ensure we can continue to push the mission of positively altering life’s trajectory forward for each and every student we serve.If you are interested in getting involved in the mission please consider supporting our annual fund, or by becoming a volunteer.
To make a one time or recurring gift please visit our Donate Page.
More on William Graham’s Blog on From the Mat to the Boardroom: Wrestling Lessons for Business Success
More on Bucknell’s Wrestling Program