Submitted by Perry Newell, Funding College Project.
Joy Wilde is a normal 12-year-old, with dreams and hope that her future will bring her. As she moves to capture the moments one can also see that she is not average, committed to family, friends and living a life many would envy.
We live in an extraordinarily complex world. As school districts have been forced to embrace remote learning during the pandemic, teachers and students alike have found ways to adapt to the new normal. And as school districts plan for the fall semester, many are online learning because students turning to online learning because students and staff may not be together in their school buildings.
Many of the resources may be lost. The interaction between students and teaching staff may be felt for years to come.
At Washington Connections Academy, her online experience allows her to feel safe and supported, open to learning. And when they are given the right amount of challenge and reward, she has thrived. Although an eighth-grade student, she is currently involved in high school level class and known for her routine of the last four years of staying physically fit and gaining skill in sports.
Mariners Insider Shannon Drayer, spoke at length about who and why this child was selected to the Mariners Hometown Nine and shall receive a Five-Year Award, and scholarship from the Seattle Mariners.
The On BASE Hometown Nine is a five-year commitment to nine (9) incoming eighth-graders, in King, Pierce, and Snohomish County, which will provide them with financial, academic, professional and social support to ensure success in their baseball/softball careers and academic journeys. The Mariners will underwrite the playing fees for baseball and softball training opportunities to help youth in the program have access to the same level of competition as their affluent peers.
In conjunction with intentional athletic support, the Mariners will pair each fellow with a Mariners player and Mariners Front Office mentor who will meet with them quarterly to provide academic and professional guidance. As the fellows progress in their high school careers, the events provided by the Mariners will be tailored to be responsive to their academic development, including college prep, essay writing help and more in their later years.
Joy Wilde: Joy is a 12-year old honor student from Tacoma, Washington with a 4.0 GPA. She enjoys playing soccer and basketball, but softball had the greatest impact on her life. At the age of seven, Joy suffered a traumatic experience that left her with post-traumatic stress disorder. At the age of nine, she started playing softball, which she says gave her strength and courage. “When I play softball all the pain and anger just go away and it’s just me, the ball, and my team, “ says Joy.
This spring, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports, Joy says she was “devastated and scared’ without softball. But she continued to work out and practice her skills to maintain her athletic abilities. “While I still wish it had been a normal season, I learned valuable lessons about perseverance. These two life events taught me how to remain strong even in my weakest moments, how to be brave, and how to have courage,” she said. In addition to sports, Joy is an avid reader and has learned the art of bookbinding and has made leather bound books for her teammates and others.
Advised of her selection as a On Base Hometown Nine member by On BASE Programs Coordinator McKenzie Mitchell and Mariner’s Center Fielder Kyle Lewis. Both seemed very excited by her talk of writing a book and her success as a middle school student taking a high school math course.
She plans to use her platform to work for racial equity, but she is not waiting for the future to get started.
Mariners introduce 1st Hometown Nine class – www.mlb.com/news/mariners-inaugural-hometown-nine-introduced
The televised interview with Angie Mentink was seen by more than 48,000 fans who normally watch Seattle Mariners Baseball. It was a telling of the On Base Hometown Nine story and provided an introduction of Joy to the larger audience.
The last four (4) years of her continued exercise and practice have given Joy the poise, courage, and the commitment to make contributions to her world.
THIS IS US SOFTBALL – A professional baseball team – www.thisisussoftball.com
Tweeting a picture, the general manager was believed to indicate that the team did not support the conditions of society, in response the 18 member team quit, with its 7 National Olympic players.
After hearing about their story, Joy took action and sent an email to a major business executive, seeking assistance for the team.
Joy said, “Thank you for showing us what courage looks like.”
Last night, This Is Us Softball had the absolute honor of meeting Joy Wilde. Joy is incredibly intelligent, humble, well-spoken 12 year old who is a force to be reckoned with on the softball field! We can’t wait to watch her journey as she continues to make her mark on this world. We are your # 1 fans, Joy!
The Book – Joy is in the process of publishing an anthology of “stories for change.” She created a website so she could get contributors. Please check it out at: glorywilde.wixsite.com/wwwyk
What We Need To Know – A Teammates Guide To Talking About Race
Have you ever heard a story that made you want to do something to change the world? I have. For me, it was the story of 18 softball players quitting a team altogether to stand up for Black Lives. When I heard about how these strong women on the Scrap Yard Dawgs left their organization and created This Is Us Softball, I became inspired. (If you haven’t heard this story yet, check their page) I was left wanting to be part of the racial change that’s erupting in our country. I decided I wanted to publish a collection of “stories for change” from female athletes who’ve battled racism in the sports world.
My goal is to create a guide for female athletic teams that educates players about issues involving race, and also serves as a jumping off point for more discussions around race. Each chapter would include a story from a Black/Indigenous/Person of Color (BIPOC).
My thought process is that if my teammates knew how much some of their comments hurt me, they wouldn’t say them. I want to make a place where BIPOC voices are strong and loud. This will educate non-BIPOC teammates so they help create a culture where everyone can shine.
“I wanted to publish a collection of “stories for change” from female athletes who’ve battled racism in the sports world.”
I know it’s not our job as people of color to educate White people about our culture, especially when it hurts so much to recount these experiences, but in participating in this project you will be taking down a piece of the barrier that is shielding racism on sports teams. What if we came together and made something so that future powerful girls of color could fully participate? What if your story made another person think before speaking? It will take too long for White people to figure it all out on their own, and I want to make a difference now. Don’t you?
Whatever she decides to do, she plans to use her platform to work for racial equity, but she’s not waiting for the future to get started.
Joy S. Wilde