May 18, 2022

By Gina Perry

This month Beat the Streets National would like to acknowledge Sulayman Bah, an 11th grader from Beat the Streets New York, as our Beat the Streets athlete of the month! Sulayman has trained with Beat the Streets for the past seven years; He is a dedicated student athlete who takes advantage of both, the mat time and the tutoring opportunities Beat the Streets has to offer.

This past season Sulayman earned a sixth-place finish at 120 pounds in the junior division to earn All-American honors at the NHSCA High School Nationals, where he competed against top competitors from across the nation! Sulayman recalls, “Every time I stepped on the mat a group of kids were in my corner ready to watch. Win or loss they supported me. If there was one significant moment, it would be my blood round match where coach Penn and Coach Becka were arguing their hearts out for my sake. It felt really good to know I have coaches who want nothing more than for me to succeed.”

There is no doubt Sulayman will do just that, succeed, “Sulayman is the epitome of how hard work can result in success. Sulayman has worked tirelessly both in the classroom and on the mat to provide opportunities for himself. Every chance that he got to improve, he took advantage,” Penn Gottfried, BTSNY Director of Programming shared, “The result is an All-American status on the mat and a scholarship to an elite private school off the mat, and he is not done yet. I am extremely excited to see what Sulayman is able to do in his future, and I, as well as Beat the Streets, am grateful to be a small part of his journey.”

Sulayman not only works hard on the mat, but uses the same grit, determination and perseverance in the classroom, “BTS provides everything I would need to succeed on and off the mat. Whether SAT Prep, workshops, Tutoring, or whatever a student-athletes need, the program sets you up for success in life. It has provided me with a lot of help academically which led to me making other connections. I entered a tutoring program with Varonis (a data security company) through the BTS math tutoring program. As the year went on my tutor helped me get my first job last summer at Varonis as an IT intern and it would not have been possible without Beat the Streets.”

Beat the Streets strives to not only help develop wrestlers on the mat, but a large part of what we do and where our focus is concentrated, is developing the character and life skills of each individual athlete. Sulayman Bah not only exemplifies the leadership skill set our program wishes to teach today’s youth, but after much perseverance and dedication, he is also an example of the joy the sport brings when all the hard work and effort comes together. Sulayman said, “I am grateful for everything Beat the Streets has done for me; it has truly helped me grow as a person. I am excited to see what the future holds and to continue making the city proud” Sulayman, you have made us proud, and we cannot wait to see what other goals you accomplish in your senior year!