Lakeisha is a student at Central Falls High School. She started wrestling last year, lost every match, and hardly came to practice. Over the summer she started attending Beat the Streets summer wrestling practices and became part of the community. She hasn't missed a practice since then. During season she would come to the Beat the Streets Central Falls Middle School practices, coach, wrestle with, and mentor the middle schools students. As a result of her leadership the Beat the Streets Central Falls team has the highest percentage of girls per team (~50%) and like all of our wrestlers these girls have become empowered to believe in themselves and succeed at a higher level. With Beat the Streets she has become a leader, a successful student (going from absenteeism to perfect attendance), and part of a strong community. This year she was the recipient of the girls leadership scholarship from Beat the Streets.
Here is her story in wrestling:
Wrestling has shown me a lot in the short period of time that I have been doing it. There is a lot of reasons that I love it. I mostly love the things that wrestling has taught me about myself. The most important thing that wrestling has taught me is perseverance. I have been pushed to limits and put in places where I didn’t think that I would make it, both physically and mentally. This sport showed me that I can finish anything that I start, no matter what that may be. Even if the job doesn’t get done perfectly, it’s important to just get through. This lesson has changed me as an athlete, a student, and as a person in general. When a subject gets difficult in school, it can be really discouraging. I struggled with my classes recently and at a point I felt like there was no longer a point in even trying. But I knew that if I can wrestle, then I can do anything. It is one of the toughest sports in the world, a lot of people cannot do it. Wrestling pushed me into being a more confident person in many different aspects. I’ve become more confident in my athleticism, my capabilities, and social abilities. Wrestling is the one sport that I’ve played that finally helped me break out of my shell and become more of a community oriented person. I love wrestling because it helped me to amplify who I am as a person, and that has in turn helped me help others.