You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are! *John Lennon*
Jackie Gilbert recently became the first player from California to be named to the U.S. women’s national team program at any level. But defying the odds to become the lone west coaster on the U.S. women’s under-19 team is not the only obstacle she’s overcome.
In the video below, Gilbert, a high school senior who is committed to the University of Southern California, talks poignantly about her experiences with being bullied as a middle school student and how she channeled her emotions to grow as a lacrosse player and a person. A full transcription follows below.
“In middle school, I think we all go through those awkward stages. I was a little bit of an ugly duckling, kind of awkward. I was in the band. I wasn’t the coolest person.
People in middle school can be really mean. I’ve definitely felt vulnerable to that at times, but it’s just something that has only made me stronger. I was able to harness the hate I was getting and the mean things that were being said to me and I was able to turn that around and make it a motivator.
I really wanted to prove those people wrong and prove that I was worth something, that I wasn’t just someone you could overlook.
That been a main source of that fuel, and when I’m feeling down, I think back to that and think ‘I can’t let these people win. I want to prove them wrong. I have to conquer over those feelings.’
Jackie is one of the 25 U.S. Women’s National Under-19 Team players featured in our recent “Be You” video, where the girls talk about how playing lacrosse has helped them embrace their individuality and become strong, capable and confident young women. Check it out below.
Watch more from the “Be You” series with Team USA at YouTube.com/USLacrosse, and look for more short one-on-one videos this spring with the top high school girls’ players in the country who will go for gold this summer in Scotland.
Article By Lane Errington – April 1, 2015