Beat The Streets - New York City Wrestling

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On Friday, February 16, seven BTS student-athletes headed to Columbia University for a comprehensive college visit. 

The day began at the Athletics Department with a talk by Marqus Hunter, Athletic Director of Columbia's Student-Athlete Enrichment Services office. Hunter gave the kids an overview that emphasized how Columbia Athletics can help the student, and not just the athlete. Hunter additionally gave some insight into how the kids should be making their college decisions by specifically describing what factors might play into that decision.  

The kids then headed to the wrestling room, catching the team just as practice endedGarrett Ryan, Columbia’s heavyweight, talked to the kids about what the school is like from a student's perspective.  Head Coach Zach Tanelli followed by speaking to the kids about what a coach is looking for in an athlete. Tanelli made sure to stress how important good grades are.   
The BTSNY group then headed over to the center of campus, where they were able to join a guided group tour of Columbia University. The tour was comprehensive and highlighted fun facts (Ghostbusters and Hitch were filmed on campus). 

“Trips like these are an amazing way to engage our kids in thinking about their future," said Penn Gottfried, Junior League Director and former Columbia Lions wrestler. In Gottfried's opinion, youth often don't realize that the grades they achieve or the afterschool activities they participate in could play a huge role in their futures.  "This is definitely eye opening to a lot of them in that they understand the importance of their actions now," said Gottfried. 

Mohammed Mahmud, a Junior at RKA, was one of the student-athletes who had his eyes opened. I learned that internships are important now to get me figuring out what I want to do in the future," said Mahmud. He was also impressed by Columbia itself-- "I also learned that Columbia has one of the oldest and largest libraries in the nation.”  

After being able to see every imaginable aspect of campus, the group completed their day with some food outside the dining hall. The group departed with a good sense of what Columbia would be like for them. 

Thank you to everyone at Columbia who made this visit possible! We hope that some future lions are in the making. 

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