On Wednesday, October 12, BTS alumnus Ahmed Elsayed received his white coat from Brown University. The white coat is a symbol of commitment to medicine and patient care and represents a significant milestone on this wrestler’s path to becoming a doctor.
Elsayed started wrestling as a freshman at Wingate Campus. He was always into sports and initially looking to play football, but when Wingate didn’t have a team, he made the decision to become a part of the wrestling family.
Through a program at NYU, Elsayed had the opportunity to shadow physicians starting in his sophomore year of high school. “Seeing the physicians not only heal but care for the patients had a huge impact on me,” Elsayed said. “It solidified my interest in medicine.” Though the medical track in school is tough, he also says it has been an amazing experience thus far. Elsayed credits his wrestling experience with giving him the tools to succeed.
“The most memorable moment in wrestling was during my junior year at the PSAL NYC Championship.” It was a year of dedication, with lots of early morning runs, intense practices, and time away at camps. “I lived on the mat.”
Seeded 2nd in the championships, “I couldn't let a ranking tell me what I can accomplish. I strapped up my singlet, shook hands and wrestled.”
He was declared the City Champion at the 135 lb weight class, winning the match 7-2. To Elsayed, it was proof “that commitment, dedication and hard work can get you anywhere, even if people or statistics tell you otherwise.”
“This is how I live my life: by the ‘wrestling motto.’ If you put in the hours, you are bound to get gold.”
Elsayed says that Beat the Streets gave him some great mentors and coaches, and especially cites his high school wrestling coach Steven Flanagan, pictured above. “Coach Flanagan drilled the wrestling motto into us.” Describing them like a family, Elsayed is still in contact with his teammates and says they are all living by the wrestling motto, “breaking barriers and doing amazing things. A big part of it is because we were all coached by Flanagan.”
He was awarded the 2012 Become Your Own Dream Scholarship at the Beat the Streets gala. This scholarship, founded by BTS Board member Hooman Tavakolian, is granted to a NYC student-athlete who has overcome obstacles and felt hardship on their road to college.
In May, Elsayed received a BA from Brown University, which he described as a monumental event in his life. By doing so, he has become one of the first people from Wingate to receive an Ivy League degree. After medical school, he plans to return to Brooklyn and practice medicine in the borough.