Prior to the season ending, some of Boston College’s hockey players visited a teammate they see often at games, practices, and outside the rink, but never in class — their Team IMPACT teammate Josh. Nine-year-old Josh, matched with BC Men’s Hockey in 2019, asked his teammates to visit his third grade class. Captain Marshall Warren, Assistant Captain Trevor Kuntar, and Henry Wilder visited with his class to talk about what it’s like playing hockey and being involved in the community.
Junior Henry Wilder had an extra special connection with the visit, having gone to the same elementary school. Josh’s teacher was able to find Wilder’s yearbook photo, where he talked about his goals for becoming an NHL player at a young age.
Josh’s classmates donned maroon and gold to celebrate the players coming to their classroom, and their teacher, Heather McCarthy, could see the positive impact of the visit immediately. “They touched their minds and their hearts…” she wrote.
“It is obvious that Josh feels a part of the BC family and that his relationship with Marshall has given him the confidence he needs to venture out into the world to make his own mark.”
– Heather McCarthy, Josh’s Teacher
In addition to talking to the class about hockey, college, and Team IMPACT, the players spent time answering questions from the students and ended the visit signing posters, hats, and shirts adorned by the children. Before they left, Josh and his classmates handed them good luck cards, cheering them on for continued success on and off the rink.
Following the visit, Mrs. McCarthy asked her students what it meant to have the players come to their classroom. From the voices of some very impressed third-graders:
“It showed us that they cared about kids.”
“It was an honor having the captain in here, as well as the other players.”
“It was cool that they took the time to answer all of our questions.”
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Josh was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome and shortly thereafter matched with BC Hockey in the spring of 2019. Josh attends games, practices, and other team events, and the team has supported him by going to his soccer games, birthday parties, and playing with him in his backyard. Says Josh, “BC Hockey makes me feel excited, watching practices, high-fiving the team on their way to the ice, cheering them on, and always making me part of the team. They celebrate me by going to my house to shoot baskets and playing video games with me.”
In addition to the men’s ice hockey team, Boston College, an official partner of Team IMPACT, has matched children across its men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, women’s lacrosse, football, swimming and diving, men’s and women’s hockey, cheerleading, women’s volleyball, and women’s track teams.
Thank you to our friends at Boston College and the entire men’s hockey team for being a constant in their Team IMPACT teammate’s life, Josh’s elementary school and classmates, and Marshall, Trevor, and Henry for spending their day with future leaders — and maybe another future collegiate hockey player!