Beat the Streets (BTS) Philadelphia commits to deliver mentoring that includes both academic and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) support to 1,000 K-12 students in underprivileged urban areas in the region by 2015. This mentoring program will be integrated with our current athletic programs which have successfully engaged over 725 students in underprivileged areas within the Philadelphia metropolitan region. In 2011, BTS Philadelphia has established a pilot mentoring program through which 40 middle school and high school students received one-on-one tutoring assistance as part of their participation in their respective athletic programs. This program demonstrated effectiveness in improving academic performance, but the integration of Social and Emotional learning will be a key aspect of our commitment.
The goal of the mentoring program will be to deliver proven Social and Emotional training to coaches and mentors to ensure the students we sponsor are engaged and demonstrating positive development in Self-Management, Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills and Responsible Decision Making. In order to reach our goal of 1,000 students which is greater than our current number of participants, BTS Philadelphia will not only expand the mentoring program to current participants of athletic programs, but will establish additional sites throughout the region.
The initial steps to completing our commitment will be the integration of Social and Emotional Learning training for coaches and mentors in the Fall of 2012. This will be coupled with the expansion of our mentoring program to a total of 8 sites that will serve over 250 children.
During the 2012-2013 academic year Beat the Streets Philadelphia will expand the mentoring program to a total of 13 sites that will serve 500 children.
During the 2013-2014 academic year Beat the Streets Philadelphia will expand the mentoring program to a total of 20 sites that will serve 750 children.
During the 2014-2015 academic year Beat the Streets Philadelphia will expand the mentoring program to a total of 26 sites that will serve 1,000 children.
In order to have access to additional students over and above our current 725, Beat the Streets Philadelphia will expand our athletic operations to at least 3 sites each academic year beginning during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Only 50% of Philadelphia High School Students graduate on time and more than 40% drop out altogether. Only 10% of kids who enter Philadelphia Public Schools in 9th grade will graduate from college, according to Johns Hopkins University. These facts have a direct impact on the ability of these students to earn a livable wage and ultimately results in a perpetual cycle of poverty driven by disengaged and unprepared students. According to statistics from the United States Department of Labor, the median income for individuals who fail to earn a high school diploma is 29% less than those with a high school diploma and 57% less than those with a bachelor's degree. This epidemic is not exclusive to the city of Philadelphia, many urban metropolitan areas in the United States are confronted with similar statistics and the current approach to engaging and motivating students in these environments is clearly not effective.
The primary goal of Beat the Streets (BTS) Philadelphia is to alter the 'life trajectory' of its student athletes in an effort to break this perpetual cycle of poverty. While BTS Philadelphia believes that pairing athletics and mentoring combines two effective means of engaging children during their most formative years.
BTS' chosen athletic avenue is the sport of wrestling - a sport that offers the opportunity to develop values and tools that prove essential to succeeding both on and off the mat. The discipline, focus, self-esteem, work ethic and respect that each student-athlete develops on the mat will prove vital to overcoming the challenges they encounter off the mat.
While each experience is clearly valuable on its own merits, when used together, athletics and mentoring foster a stronger and more constructive learning experience. In essence, when combining the two experiences, the end result is greater than the sum of the parts.
Beat the Streets Philadelphia is seeking partnerships for the development of our overall training of our mentors and coaches. This support could come in the form of funding for research or specific guidance on key elements that should be included in our training to ensure effectiveness.
Beat the Streets Philadelphia is also seeking funding to support the establishment of new programs to reach additional at-risk youth in the surrounding region.