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First-Time Wrestling Student Wins Medals in I'RAISE After School Program

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Lance, a wrestling student in I’RAISE’s afterschool program, is enjoying being on the team and has excelled at it.

Lance has only been wrestling for a few months, but he has already won medals for his team.

When asked what his favorite part of being on the wrestling team was, Lance said, “You can make new friends,” because of having teammates, “and it can make you feel great about yourself. And they can cheer you on as you wrestle.”

Lance's proudest moment of being on the team was when he won his first medal, which, the student said, “felt great.”

Lance has earned one second-place and two first-place medals for his wrestling.

Lance’s coach, I’RAISE Afterschool Director Xavier Donaldson (known to the kids as Mr. X), and his teammates motivate Lance to win medals for his team.

Lance acknowledges the program encourages the kids to have fun and that's what he enjoys about it. Lance added, “I enjoy Mr. X and all my friends.”

Lance said of Donaldson, “He’s a great coach,” because “He cheers you on” and pushes his students to “work it out” and “make it rational.”

Lance joined the wrestling team because “It makes me feel good,” as winning medals “makes you feel good because you’ve probably never won a medal before. And your mom would be happy for you.”

When asked if his story could inspire other kids to wrestle, Lance said, “Kind of, because at first, I wasn’t good at wrestling.” But, with his coach's help, "I got better. And I think you can do it only if you work hard.”

In addition to wrestling, our afterschool programming includes: social-emotional learning, dance, fitness, music, and fine arts. Learn more here about our Empire Afterschool Program in the Bronx. To donate, and support I’RAISE afterschool students like Lance, click here.

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