Originally published May 18
To get a true scouting report on the truly remarkable Taylor Weisman, you need to know the people who should know her best. Her mom. Her coaches. Even the power hitter herself.
"I just don't want people to know me as, 'Oh, that's the homeless girl who plays at Ship,'" said Weisman, a senior from Harrisburg, Pa. "I don't like that. I don't want to be labeled as that."
[caption id="attachment_1586" align="alignright" width="300"] Taylor Weisman is speaking out about her homelessness to encourage others facing the same situation. (Photo courtesy Bill Smith/Shippensburg University)[/caption]
Yet somehow Taylor Weisman has started nearly every game at Shippensburg University; tied her school's home run record and is soon graduating with a degree in social work and a minor in criminal justice. "I really want to help people who are like me," said Weisman.
How did Taylor Weisman end up homeless? First, her parents got divorced. Then she says her mom couldn't keep up with the bills and finally came the notice of foreclosure. To this day, she still remembers that exact day.
"February 25, 2011," she said. "Senior year of high school. My mom told me, 'We're losing our house. And I couldn't believe it.'"
It was hard on Wesiman's mother, Janet, too. "I'm going to get a little emotional," she said.
"I feel in some ways I failed her. I feel like I took away some stability from her for awhile. And that's a mom's job."
Through it all, though, there was a daughter's passion — softball. With support from Panthers head coach Mike Stepp the field has always felt like home.
"Coming here was her release, from that part of her life," said Stepp, who's also coached Weisman with Harrisburg's RBI softball team. "Always in a happy mood when she was here."
Stepp said he wasn’t aware Weisman was homeless. It’s something she's been hiding from nearly everyone.
Where then did Weisman stay? Anywhere she could.
Consider that away from school she's still without a home, staying with her boyfriend's family. "If it wasn't for them, I have no idea where I'd be living now," she said.
She has recently landed two internships and would like to work with at-risk youth. She's even considering joining the Air Force.
Weisman said she's never wanted anyone to feel sorry for her or treat her differently. No, the most unforgettable thing about the remarkable Taylor Weisman is this: she's now finding her voice to speak up and encourage others.
"I want people to know that no matter what happens, no matter what happens," she said, "you can do it."