Beat the Streets teaches Chicago kids wrestling, life lessons

CHICAGO — On the metropolis’s Southwest Side, Beat the Streets is a spot like no different the place Chicago’s youth might be empowered to grow to be a champion via wrestling — a champion on the mat and in life.

BTS teaches wrestling to girls and boys. It’s not too removed from Midway Airport and is now house to the state-of-the-art facility.

Cicero High college senior Alvaro Perez stated BTS is the excellent place for him and his brother.

“My mom had left and [my dad] put us in sports to avoid the situation he was in since he was 16 he’s now 39, 40 still working his butt off to provide for us,” Perez stated.

With beginnings that stretch again to 1997, BTS took issues to a different degree in 2018 with the hire of govt director Mike Powell.

Powell is a standout wrestler of his personal and is the longtime coach at Oak Park River Forest High School. With his crew in place, a capital marketing campaign to create the finest wrestling program round took root — $2.1 million donated later, it turned a headquarters on Archer Avenue.

“We are coming on a year,” he stated. “It’s been a glorious year of growth and learning and culture building.”

BTS, positioned in the metropolis’s Garfield Ridge neighborhood boasts a state-of-the-art facility. It’s a ten,000 sq. foot constructing with 6,000 sq. toes for wrestling.

There’s additionally a classroom for the kids when they don’t seem to be working issues out on the mat.

Central to BTS’ core philosophy is what is known as the AGGIE values.

More on Beat The Streets Chicago on their website

“Accountability, gratitude, grit, integrity and excellence,” Powell stated. “This informs everything we do at Beat the Streets. We want to make wrestling champions but it’s far more important to us to make what we call life champions.”

Champions who gained’t get sucked into the unhealthy facet of what the Chicago streets provide each day corresponding to crime.

“Hook them with wrestling and then get them involved with our financial literacy, our mentoring, our test prep, our college readiness our summer workshops and so our goal is to develop the whole human,” Powell stated.

BTS isn’t only for the boys. The group is about 20% women and nationally, wrestling is the quickest rising sport in America. And most of the kids at BTS are from Black and brown households.

Perez calls BTS his second household.

“We are part of a family now,” he stated. “Every coach loves you. Knows who you are.”

They inspired him and his older brother to switch to Brother Rice High School which has one among the finest highschool wrestling applications round and has helped him with tuition.

 Him and his brother follow for life’s imperfect street forward however with a can do wrestling spirit — taking down no matter goliaths comes their method.

Back to top button