I began ice skating around 5 or 6 years old with my grandfather in Massachusetts. Around the age of 10 I was introduced to floor hockey through the Wake Forest Boys and Girls Club. The next year I laced up my ice skates once again and began learning the fundamentals of hockey through the CREW program. After my 1st season with CREW I knew hockey was the sport for me. My first league team I was on the U13 team and out of the 15 players on my team I was not only the only girl but the only minority. I never understood having to prove myself until being on this team. It wasn't till around mid season when I scored the winning goal that my teammates began to take me seriously and from that moment I Dixie ( my team given nickname), was respected. I am still participating in CREW and I was given two of the biggest opportunities of my hockey life.
On November 17, 2017 I was chosen to make NHL history and became the first Afro-Latina to participate as the opening skater with the Carolina Hurricanes. To be nervous is an understatement but with the support of my mom and my hockey mentor Danielle Thomas I knew this was my moment to shine (even though I almost tripped entering the ice lol). It was a short experience, I felt the love and respect from everyone and every player in PNC and that crowd will ring loud for the rest of my life.
For my 13th birthday I boarded a plane with three of my CREW friends and two coaches and landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the Hockey Is For Everyone Camp. Which gave me the chance to meet hockey legend Willie O'ree, I was star struck and overwhelmed. Willie is an inspiration to me and what I want to put forth in my hockey career. That experience made me realize that no matter your skin color, age or gender once you put on that hockey uniform you are a player and your only competitor is you. These last four years on the ice have brought broken bones, a few concussions and a bigger love and respect for the game of hockey. As I continue my journey to the next faze is a little scary knowing that I will have to move up to U-18 but I know between my speed and toughness nothing will hold me back from playing my hardest every game and practice. I truly believe in the mantra Hockey Is For Everyone and I hope to inspire the next young lady who thinks she can't hang with the boys, best believe if you skate your skate and play your game you will be the best of the best.
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