By Jeanette Smith and Jacque Davis Americorp VISTAs for BYW, August 25, 2020, 11:43 a.m.
Hitting development milestones in our program is crucial to launching the participant’s initiation to work and adulthood.
To be selected, CITs must pass two rigorous hiring rounds on par with U.S.A. Wrestling coaching standards. All interested youth begin by submitting a resume with a cover letter and completing an interview with B.Y.W.’s Executive team. For some, this is their first formal job interview and Boston Youth Wrestling provides mentoring throughout the entire process.
Once accepted, the students participate in an orientation, which includes 20 to 25 hours of training on trauma-informed coaching techniques that lead to the mandatory completion of nationally recognized USAW Copper and Bronze Coaching certifications for a lifetime membership and SafeSport Certification. This season also incorporated Covid-19 safety protocol to onboard the cohort before officially starting the primary curriculum, delivering 300 hours total of in-person and virtual programming.
Remarking on the program intensity, a first year CIT says, “This job was full of laughs, smiles, sweating, headaches, and most importantly, friendship…I feel like that was important because from the beginning we knew it would not be an easy job especially with all of the coach training we had to do before we could even get the job.”
Traditionally, run in partnership with community schools and youth centers like the Boys and Girls Club and The Mildred, BYW pivoted the program model delivery once Covid-19 safety protocol eliminated the chance of on-site programming. BYW stayed true to its mission and adapted the programming to be deliverable outside of the wrestling room and into the community, all while staying focused on this summer’s three core initiatives: Health and Wellness, Entrepreneurship, and Mentor And Training (M.A.T) Time.
Under the lens of Covid-19, the 2020 participants thrive on the built-in group support and a mentor-led approach to boost team spirit, garnering better outcomes. Participants show up eager to innovate in this continued education space.
A first-year coach, Nyerrie H., reflects on insights from his introduction to the mentoring role this summer, “Being a CIT Mentor allowed me to learn the correct coaching perspective. BYW taught me how to give the young athletes ownership over their development and understanding as athletes within the sport of wrestling.”
He adds that, “My favorite memory
Now in the last week for 2020, we want to celebrate our 12 new graduates.
To date, 50 participants spanning five years of the CIT program have joined the alumni cohort. These alumni are landing into college and the workforce on both feet and confidently taking with them the learning outcomes from projects- business planning, public speaking, horticulture, health and wellness, community outreach, etc.-that they helped to lead and create. To reach more students with this impactful programming, we are expanding the summer program to be yearlong starting in the Fall of 2020.
Thanks to our supportive sponsors, their funding impact is reframing the trajectory of our budding youth beyond school. It is our goal to employ more youth to meet the growing needs of our community as we wrestle together through Covid-19 and the economic downturn to stay strong.
Interested in learning more about the CITs’ summer innovations and how it is influencing the growth of the program?
Stay tuned to see samples of their projects!