BTS Fall Update

October is here, and at Beat the Streets Philadelphia that means…ONLY 43 DAYS UNTIL WRESTLING SEASON! The PIAA wrestling season is nearly upon us and we couldn’t be more excited! With a new season comes a clean slate for everyone stepping on the mat. Last year’s successes and shortcomings are now well in the rearview mirror, and opportunity is all that lies ahead. With that said, here are a few updates on the opportunities available to our community; the opening of our Mentoring Center, pre-season training opportunities at PAL, and our Coach Development Clinic on 10/21!

Before we get to wrestling, we would like to announce that the Beat the Streets Philadelphia Mentoring Center will officially be open this Monday, October 9th! Mon-Thurs (3-7p), wrestlers enrolled in the Mentoring Menter will have the opportunity to work 1-on-1 with an academic mentor on a day of the week that works for them. At BTSP, we help student-athletes manage their studies, help them however we can, and prepare them for future success. Never been to the BTSP Mentoring Center before? No Problem! Contact Mentoring Director Ben Reiter ([email protected]) or call our office at 215-454-2255 to schedule an appointment and get started today!

On the mat, BTSP is already offering training opportunities through club wrestling at the Rizzo PAL Center in Port Richmond. Practices run Tues/Thurs (7-8:30p) and the room is already filled with wrestlers of all ages. For directions, and regular updates on the PAL Wrestling Club, check follow their Facebook Page.

Lastly, we have a PSA for all Beat the Streets Coaches. On Saturday, October 21st PRTC Head Coach and Olympic Gold Medalist Brandon Slay will be hosting a Coach Development Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania; FREE to all BTSP Coaches. To provide the best coaching possible to all of our student-athletes, we urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to hone your abilities as a coach and continue to improve. To sign up, Wrestling Director Juan Ramos ([email protected]) or call our office at 215-454-2255

What’s been particularly impressive to this point in the year has been the excitement of our wrestlers. Since day one of the school year, our office has had many kids who are staying on top of their studies at our Mentoring Center and actively seeking out training opportunities wherever they can find them. These kids know that doing the right things in November leads to success in March; and that’s inspiring. It’s going to be a great season and we can’t wait to get things officially going!

Mentoring – From the Mat to the Classroom

In July of 2016, B.J. Futrell moved to Philadelphia to continue his wrestling career with the Pennsylvania Regional Training Center. A qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Trials, Futrell had long been aware of Beat the Streets and admired the organizations work from afar. Last summer, shortly after settling into the city, B.J. sought out BTSP and expressed his interest in giving back to the sport that has given him so much. Beat the Streets was elated to have the help of a world-class athlete and immediately found a program that could use his leadership, Belmont Charter. After nearly a year of coaching, this past March, B.J. developed a bond with 8th grader Quion Harris.
Quion had been a part of Belmont wrestling most of the time B.J. served as a coach, but it wasn’t until a regional freestyle qualifier in the spring of 2017 that the two began to form a relationship. Quion was competing in a tournament and noticed shortly before getting on the mat that he was without a coach. Looking around quickly, he found a familiar face in B.J. and asked him to sit in his corner. From that point on, the two spend the better part of the day together and got to know each other. Ironically, it turned out that both Quion and B.J. had recently expressed an interest in getting involved with the Beat the Streets Mentoring Center. From the perspective of Beat the Streets mentoring staff, this was a perfect match. Often, the best mentoring relationships form naturally and when things work out that way we consider it a win! Entering the coming school year, the two plan to meet weekly at the Mentoring Center at 3700 Market Street. There, B.J. can help Quion with schoolwork, life, and goal setting.
Quion is always excited to meet with B.J. and values their time in the mentoring center. We took some time last week to sit down with Quion and talk to him about this thoughts on Coach Futrell. When asked his thoughts here’s what he had to say:

“I like that Coach Futrell always listens to me and cares about me. Talking everything out with coach helps me feel good about school, wrestling, and everything going on in my life.”

Their mentoring relationship is clearly paying off; Quion is dedicated in school and on the mat, and has developed admirable character. Coach Futrell had some  really nice things to say about who Quion is as a person:

 “Quion is a joy to be around. I look forward to him walking through the doors before practice time. No matter what is going on he is always in good spirit and gives his best effort.”
Quion is very intelligent. He is a young man with a lot of wisdom and knows how to make good choices that will propel him in the classroom and on the wrestling mat. He is a very intentional listener and takes time to think before he responds. He is a good role model for his younger brother. Quion is a leader, not so much through words as he is a more quiet & soft spoken kid, but through his actions.”

B.J. and Quion are a fantastic example of how mentoring relationships can bud organically. Sometimes, mentors don’t realize the true impact they have on student athletes; but at BTSP we see it everyday. Mentors aren’t just a tutor or another adult to the students. Mentors are a role model, a coach, and a friend to the kids they work with and the lasting impact they have even in the smallest things is monumental.

Beat the Streets Philadelphia works everyday to Positively Alter Life’s Trajectory for thousands of kids like Quion throughout the Philadelphia area; but we can’t do it alone. If you would like to contribute to our cause, please visit our donate now page to learn more about our ways to give. If you would like to donate your time as a mentor, feel free to visit our mentoring page or fill out a mentoring interest form.
 

Beat the Streets Summer Wrestling Recap

The Beat the Streets Philadelphia (BTSP) off-season wrestling program was extremely successful this year. After establishing four off-season sites, each with a dedicated Pennsylvania Regional Training Center (PRTC) athlete as a clinician, BTSP was able to qualify four athletes to take advantage of the high-level training available at the PRTC. In short, qualifying to the PRTC means gaining the opportunity to train with some of the top wrestlers in the world as well as the chance to drill with the top competition in Philadelphia and its’ surrounding area. Of the four athletes who’ve qualified, both Angel Garcia (Mariana Bracetti Academy) and Daishawn Tilghman (Overbrook) stood out this summer as two guys who are liable to make some noise during the folkstyle season.
In addition to qualifying for the PRTC, Angel and Daishawn both qualified for Cadet National Duals through their successful folkstyle seasons where they helped the Pennsylvania Red team to a 3rd Place finish in Greco-Roman and a 4th Place finish in Freestyle. Additionally, both wrestlers were selected by Beat the Streets Philadelphia (alongside 10 other BTSP wrestlers) to attend a great cross-face cradle series camp run by Maurice Atwood, a 19x State Championship Head Coach from North Carolina. While there were a number of BTSP student-athletes who excelled this summer in their efforts to improve, Angel and Daishawn stood out from the rest and anyone who’s been a part of their offseason training has taken notice.
Those who don’t already know these kids soon will. Both Daishawn and Angel are poised to be leaders, not only within their respective programs, but throughout Beat the Streets Philadelphia programs. Off the mat, Daishawn has actively participated in BTSP mentoring for years and Angel is looking forward to becoming engaged in mentoring as well. All of us at Beat the Streets Philadelphia are excited to see these two hit the mat for the folkstyle season and show everyone how much they’ve improved.
In addition to these two standouts, Beat the Streets Philadelphia has a lot to be excited about this wrestling season. With folkstyle season around the corner, BTSP also has some incoming freshman who are ready to make some noise. Aboubakare Diaby (Central High School) and Reynaldo Garcia (Mariana Bracetti Academy) are two young men who have a real ability to break their respective lineups in 2018 and get some valuable mat time.
As Beat the Streets continues to grow, there will surely be more student-athletes like Daishawn and Angel who are just waiting to break out and be recognized at the state and/or national level. In order to support the growth of our athletes, however, we need your help. The generosity of our donors, volunteers, and BTSP community members has allowed Beat the Streets Philadelphia to aid thousands of wrestlers in achieving their goals on and off the mat, but we are always looking toward future growth. We ask that you please consider supporting Beat the Streets Philadelphia through either through our ‘Donate Now’ page, ‘online store’, as a volunteer mentor, or coach. For more information on our organization, please see How We Help or give us a call at 215-454-2255

Beat the Streets Nation – Executive Director Search

Beat the Streets National is hiring an Executive Director
Reporting to the Board of Directors, The Executive Director (ED) will have full strategic and operational responsibility of Beat the Streets National’s mission, staff, and growth initiatives.  The Executive Director will provide educational resources, and support growth of city programs within Beat the Streets. Areas of support may consist of board development, insurance guidance, programming advice, best practices, and expanding and identifying funding opportunities. These city programs will follow approved standard operating procedures focused in the areas of governance, administration, programming, and metrics, as outlined by the national organization.
Responsibilities

  • Foster growth and support of Beat the Streets Member Organizations
  • Execute and maintain licenses and adherence by Member Organizations
  • Expand access to resources for Beat the Streets Member Organizations
  • Develop and execute strategic marketing plan to increase national and international presence
  • Define and track impact measurement, and routinely evaluate performance
  • Identify, develop, and diversify revenue opportunities to support existing operations and new initiatives
  • Improve sustainability through licensing, partnerships, individual donations, corporate donations, and grants
  • Develop and manage within the organizations budget, ensure financial documentation in compliance of Local, State, and Federal requirements
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors
  • Travel to each member organizations at least once per year

Qualifications

  • Bachelors degree, MBA preferred or 10 years relevant senior management experience in related field
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse groups of people
  • Independently motivated with a passion for the organizations mission
  • High energy, interpersonal relationship builder, able to influence others to achieve organizational goals
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders
  • Residence within 50 miles of an existing BTSN Member organization

Acting as a resource for member Beat the Streets City Programs, Beat the Streets National supports the creation, development, and sustainability of youth wrestling programs through the identification and adoption of best practices, and by providing a framework for which member programs can leverage the collective expertise of a national organization.
 
Beat the Streets National is focused on sports-based youth development opportunities in communities that are undeserved as defined by limited access to wrestling. Today, Beat the Streets consists of four member organizations throughout the United States and a growing number of International programs, with a strong emphasis on the expansion and development of wrestling for both boys and girls. Beat the Streets National is a 501(c)3 non-profit.
 
Candidates may submit their application and cover letter through indeed.com here.
Application Deadline: September 10th, 2017

New Director of Mentoring, Ben Reiter

Beat the Streets Philadelphia Hires Director of Mentoring, Ben Reiter.
A 2009 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania and member of the wrestling team, Ben Reiter is back in Philadelphia to serve as the new director of mentoring at Beat the Streets Philadelphia. As a Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer while attending Penn, Ben is no stranger to mentoring and community service.
Following graduation, Ben moved to Arequipa, Peru leading projects for Global Vision International. While living in South America Ben co-founded the non-profit organization Put Them First and also served as executive director of Luchas Nobles. Through these organizations, Ben establish a community center and library on the outskirts of Arequipa, held annual health and relief campaigns for villages in the Andes mountains, hosted annual back to school campaigns, and worked with the national children’s hospital to promote and send frequent volunteers to donate blood platelets for children suffering from leukemia.
Ben met his wife and started a family during his time in Peru. A father of two young children, he is looking forward to returning to the United States to raise his family in the community he grew to love while attending Penn.
 “Wrestling has impacted my life in a great way, and I believe that it is the perfect sport to teach the tenacity, perseverance, and work ethic needed to succeed in life.” said Reiter. “I have long admired the work that Beat the Streets Philadelphia has been doing in service of their student athletes, and I am extremely passionate about its mission to utilize skills learned in the wrestling room to Positively Alter Life’s Trajectory. It is truly an honor to join the BTSP team, and I am exited for the opportunity to contribute to such a noble cause.  I look forward to getting to know each of our student athletes, parents, and coaches very soon.” 
To learn more about our mentoring programs contact Ben directly at [email protected]
To support our mission of “Positively Altering Life’s Trajectory” consider making a donation.

Miles Lee Makes National Finals

Last night Miles Lee, of South Philadelphia, made the national finals in the junior devision.  Miles won by technical-fall all the way into the semi-finals, beating opponents from New Jersey, Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois.  In the semi-finals Miles beat Matthew Waddell of Georgia 6-2.  Miles will wrestle Jacob Warner of Illinois for the national title at 2:30 P.M. ET.

Ronald Palmer

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Ronald Palmer had a feeling he was going to make a pretty good wrestler. He was stronger then most kids his age, his muscles honed from years of parkour and breakdancing. These unique pastimes gave Ronald a sense of body awareness, and flexibility that served him well on the wrestling mats. Ronald had almost unheralded success that most Philadelphia wrestlers fall short of achieving when they start their careers as freshmen. He became Mariana Bracetti’s first ever 2-time district champion, and joined the exclusive 100 wins’ club. More importantly however was how Ronald’s involvement in wrestling jumpstarted his academics. Although never a poor student, Ronald didn’t exactly emphasis his school work. Once he started having success on the mat, he realized if he wanted to wrestle in college, he would have to be successful in the classroom as well. Ronald exemplifies what Beats The Streets Philadelphia strives to do. For the first time in his life, he began taking honors level classes, and his hard work finally paid off. This fall Ronald is set to attend Kutztown University where he will continue wrestling and majoring in business. Although his high school wrestling career didn’t end how he would have liked, a heartbreaking overtime loss in a match that would’ve qualified him for states, Ronald cannot wait to get on the mats in college.

Derick Morton

       Derick Morton didn’t know what he was going to get from wrestling when he first started as a 9th grader at Martin Luther King High School. 4 years later, after finishing up his freshmen year at East Stroudsburg University he’s better suited to answer that question.

       “Perseverance, not giving up when the going gets tough.”

       Derick is a dual major in physics and environmental studies. Two majors known for their difficult classes and large course loads. While that would be a full plate for most college students, Derick also plays rugby on the school’s club team, sings in the Triumph Gospel Chorus, is a member of the school’s multicultural club, the environmental club, and the NAACP. Balancing the plethora of academic and social commitments, wasn’t easy, and Derick admits his grades struggled when he first got on campus. However, Derick persevered, and stuck to a rigorous daily schedule, that started with class, and then his mandatory club meetings, followed by finishing his homework in the dorms. After all of that was done, he allowed himself to socialize and hang out with his friends and Rugby teammates. Derick credits the sport of wrestling for pushing him to never give up, and to work through his problems as well as Beat the Streets Philadelphia for pushing him to look at colleges and universities after high school. One piece of advice Derick would give incoming freshmen is to get enough sleep, which is absolutely vital when you have a schedule as full as his.

First Annual Philly Bowling Fundraiser a Success

       Thursday, April 28th Beat the Streets Philadelphia held our First Annual Bowling Night at Lucky Strike Lanes in Center City. The fundraiser was a great success, hosting over 200 attendees in a night filled with fun and entertainment. Mr. Green Genes front man, Bryen O’Boyle, provided music to go along with the night’s many festivities, including bowling, ping pong, giant jenga, connect four, a 50/50 raffle, and our silent auction. A special thanks to our sponsors for making this night a huge success and helping raise money for our program and the kids.

Philadelphia Wrestlers Earn Postseason Success

High School student-athletes throughout the city have been training hard all season in preparation for the postseason. Many have put in countless hours throughout the year with their coaches and that time has resulted in new levels of success for teams and individuals sponsored by Beat the Streets Philadelphia (BTSP). Although wins and losses are clearly not the priority of our staff and coaches, they are a by-product of the mentality that our coaches promote on a consistent basis. Each year since BTSP was founded our student-athletes have achieved more success against more established and historically successful schools and communities. In our first year of existence we had very few students that qualified for the regional tournament and this year alone 33 wrestlers from the Philadelphia Public League will be moving onto the regional tournament. This success on the mat runs parallel with the increase in graduation and college admittance rates of the students we sponsor and provides a small yet tangible indication of the collective progress that has been made.
The Philadelphia Inquirer recently had an article regarding this success and you can view that with this link. –
Philadelphia Inquirer Article on Postseason Success