As a young boy of color growing up in Boston, wrestling helped founder José Valenzuela navigate one of the most critical transitions of his life: middle school. He had low self-esteem, he was angry, and he was on the wrong path: underachieving in school with too many D's and F's on his report card and multiple discipline referrals to his name. Wrestling provided him with an outlet. Like many of the students he works with today as an educator and coach in the Boston Public Schools (BPS), he learned to wrestle with his circumstances. He became confident in himself, and his coaches and teammates mentored him to strive for greater goals on and off the mat. After finishing his wrestling career at Williams College (MA), he returned to Boston to begin a career teaching history in the BPS, He founded TechBoston Academy’s first wrestling program in 2009. The first middle school wrestlers of the program are now freshmen in college, and they have all made great strides to develop their path to a successful life in college and beyond. This impact inspired José to found Boston Youth Wrestling.