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Souderton Youth Wrestling

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Nov, 2015

Beat The Streets

Yonefry Polanco’s passion for wrestling has helped him develop more than just impressive athletic ability.

“Once I started applying, once I started wrestling, I started passing my Regents and had better grades,” says the New York City high school student.

Polanco is a member of Beat the Streets New York City, a nonprofit organization that helps urban youth develop to their full potential.

“We deal with the New York City population, with kids that are living often in distress, and wrestling gives them a sense of community, a sense of family, a sense of purpose,” according to Beat the Streets founder Mike Novogratz.

Novogratz and his team are dedicated to helping young athletes prepare for life beyond the wrestling ring.

“Wrestling teaches discipline, focus, commitment. It teaches that life is not fair, that you’re going to get beat on every day you come to the room,” says MarcAntoni Macias, Beat the Streets head boys coach.

Each year, Beat the Streets hosts a fundraising gala to raise money for the program. This year, the event was hosted in the heart of Times Square and showcased marquee matchups between Team USA and Cuba’s national team.

“It’s become a bit of a tradition in the wrestling community that we have a big event every year,” says Novogratz.

Head girls coach Jacque Davis credits the program for promoting the sport to both boys and girls.

“Beat the Streets started 21 different high school programs for girls, and now there are over 300 girls participating in the city alone, so it’s huge.”

Actor and Beat the Streets gala chair Mark Consuelos is a big fan of how the organization helps instill valuable life lessons in its members, saying, “The kids are so dedicated, and it’s one of those sports where you have to be disciplined and humbled in order to be successful, and half of the lessons you learn are from losing.

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