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The mission of Beat the Streets Providence is to put a wrestling team, mat, and coach in every middle school and later every school in Providence in an effort to use wrestling to create a positive afterschool environment for the youth of Providence RI that connects them to strong mentors.
Beat the Streets Providence is a not for profit whose mission is to put a wrestling mat, team, and coach in every Middle School in Providence and later every school in Providence. The intent of this mission is to provide the disadvantaged youth of Providence with a positive after school environment in which, day in and day out, they will be in touch with strong mentors. In Providence a program like this is a must. Like most urban centers in the United States Providence public Middle Schools have no school sponsored team sports. At such a sensitive time in a young person’s life this is a critical gap. After school sports offer a positive environment for students after the school day ends-- a simple, yet important thing which many inner city youths lack, a community of supportive peers, and most importantly good mentors, examples, and, hopefully, inspirations. Our program will be able to provide great mentors through a partnership with the RIC and Brown U. wrestling teams, as well as many other community volunteers-- from lawyers, to businessmen, to government leaders-- all whose lives have been positively effected by wrestling. On top of this, the other benefits of the program are numerous. We will promote attendance through daily attendance checks - if you miss class you effectively miss practice-- as well as end of program attendance awards to incentivize staying in school. This is extremely important as 37 percent of Providence students are chronically absent (defined as missing 20 percent of more of classes). We will encourage academic achievement; again this will include award incentives, including an end of year scholarship that will be awarded, but also will include optional tutoring for 45 minutes at the end of practice once a week. Beat the Streets PVD is also fully co-ed and will teach self defense to girls as a form of empowerment. Furthermore, Beat the Streets PVD has a deep belief in the beneficial power of wrestling in particular as a means of youth development. For many reasons, wrestling is in a unique position to help the urban youth of Providence. Wrestling is a sport that anyone can do - it’s not expensive, requiring nothing more than a mat, shoes, and protective headgear. It is also a sport that anyone can succeed in. You don’t need a good team--it’s just you out there on the mat. This self-reliance breeds self-confidence. You don’t need athletic ability-- the more talented athlete will lose to the wrestler who works harder every time. In wrestling the playing field is level. No matter how big or small you are, the other wrestler is the same size, therefore, it’s up to you to tip the balance. This teaches hard work. When you combine hard work and talent you get a little thing called ambition and a big thing called success. This I believe is the most important thing our program will do, because disadvantaged Providence youth have often had no one believe in them and, thus, often do not even believe in themselves. Not only will we connect our students with mentors who believe in them, but wrestling will teach them to believe in themselves.
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