Name: Laura Lima
Last Team: Newark East Side
Favorite Hockey Players: Zach Parise, Jonathan Toews, & Connor McDavid
Best Diner Food: Buffalo Chicken Wrap
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholarship is presented to high school students who are active in the Hockey Is For Everyone™ initiative. This year Newark’s own Laura Lima was selected as one of the recipients. I got the chance to speak with this enthusiastic and bright young woman about what hockey has meant to her as well as her future at Rowan University.
I asked Laura what hockey has meant to her and she spoke from her heart as she gave me her response. “Hockey means a lot to me, when I started I was a shy girl and meeting everyone I was able to come out of my shell”, said Laura. She also talked about how hockey helped her build her confidence and about communication.
We then talked about how she got into hockey. She got tickets to her first game and was told it was a good game to go to. She went not knowing what to expect, “I didn’t know what hockey was before that first Devils game.” While watching the game she noticed how faced paced it was and “It became a whole other game for me.” She was hooked after that. This lead me to asking about her family’s involvement in her playing. You could tell just by the tone of her voice how happy she was to talk about her mom’s encouragement.
“My mom was the one who was always around when it came to playing hockey. She got me to games and watched me play.” Laura talked about her mom waking up in the early morning to make sure she was at games on time and made sure she had whatever equipment she needed. “She always motivated me”.
We then talked about her future as she has been accepted to Rowan University. Laura told me her favorite part of high school has been applying to colleges. She applied to nine schools in total and Rowan was not her first choice. However after she met the coach of Rowan’s hockey team she got excited about their program and decided to become a Prof. Not only is she excited to continue playing hockey but she is ready to start studying criminal justice. While Laura is not certain exactly what she wants to do, she knows it will be in law enforcement.
After that we discussed the Hockey Is For Everyone™ and Hockey in New Jersey program. Laura told me that, “When I started it (Hockey in New Jersey) was a small organization. As I progressed the numbers started growing, I think we have over 700 players now.” She than talked specifically about her home, Newark, where the New Jersey Devils play their home games. “Hockey wasn’t big in Newark but now, you walk down the street and you see kids playing street hockey”. The Devils make a point of being a community team and their commitment to Hockey in New Jersey is very noticeable and felt throughout not just the city of Newark but the entire state.
Finally, we talked about winning the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholarship. “It helped me realize that if you apply yourself and try hard you will get rewarded.” She then said, “I didn’t get my hopes up but I wrote from my heart and what hockey means to me. I then started thinking I could win this.” Laura than talked about when she found out she won, “When I found out I was speechless. To win a scholarship because I was playing a sport I loved was really cool.”
Congratulations Laura! I wish you the best of luck at Rowan as you not only continue your playing career but embark on the next chapter in your story!