Beat the Streets ended the summer and its 2017-18 year last week by taking 16 of its top student-athletes on a week-long trip to tour some of the nation’s top universities. The group, led by BTS coaches Penn Gottfried and Emma Randall, made stops at six institutions - UPenn, Drexel, Maryland, American, Navy, and Princeton – while also connecting with other Beat the Streets organizations in Philadelphia, D.C. and Baltimore.
The goal of the summer tour was to reward the student-athletes that were the most engaged with BTS throughout the last year while exposing them to exceptional institutions, different places and new experiences.
While the group spent a great deal of time touring the colleges’ campuses and wrestling rooms thanks to the support of each school’s staff, some of the more impactful moments occurred away from the mat.
A great deal of time was spent with the BTS Philly group early in the tour, with both collectives joining together to do a run on the famous “Rocky Steps” in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. D.C. saw the team taking visits and late night runs together around some of the District’s most iconic landmarks, including the Washington Monument and the White House. The group also visited the Lincoln Memorial, doing so on the 55th anniversary of the late Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. In Baltimore, the kids attended a Major League Baseball game between the Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays. It was the first Orioles game for everyone in the group and the first baseball game ever for a half dozen of them. It was an exciting first game for everyone – Baltimore’s Adam Jones hit a grand slam home run to help the Orioles earn the victory.
"I think this tour encompassed the mission of Beat the Streets. Our kids were able to experience cities and parts of history that they might never have seen in their life, explore and ask questions about different colleges and wrestling programs, and make new friends. I think our kids also grew throughout the trip from being shy and hesitant to more outgoing and confident. It was a great experience for all,” said Gottfried of the experience.
"I enjoyed the summer tour because I got to explore and meet new people. Also, by visiting the colleges, I got to better weigh my options on what college I want to attend." - Daija Cloud, Forest Hills High School junior
"I never thought I would experience seeing the White House or just learning history about the different schools we visited. It was a great opportunity for me just expanding my different options for college. I never saw myself going to the Naval Academy, but going to visit and learning about the school, I would love to go there to attend school in the future." - Marquis Larmond, Grand Street Campus junior
“The summer tour was a great experience that allowed me to visit multiple college campuses and experience different college wrestling rooms in a short amount of time. It also helped me bond and get closer with my BTS family.” - Michael Babbcort, Wingate High School senior