Wayne State Athletics has been partnering with Team IMPACT since 2013 to change young lives that have been affected by serious and chronic illness.
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit based in Boston, Massachusetts whose mission is to connect children facing life-threatening illnesses with college athletic teams.
On Nov. 20, the Warrior softball team signed Tessa Moleski as its first Team IMPACT top recruit signee. Moleski, a 10-year-old from Berkley, Michigan, was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2008. The team staged a press conference with a Head Coach Gary Bryce to make Moleski’s signing official.
Team IMPACT partners with many colleges and universities to improve the quality of life through the power of the team. The expectation for the team is that there is no "off-season," the top recruit will interact with the team and be able to socialize on and off the field.
Bryce said he sees this as a great opportunity for his team and for the girl who they are partnered with.
"It’s a chance to give back to the community," said Bryce. "It's a special thing especially for the young lady."
Moleski signed a National Letter of Intent, and the team gave her a few gifts to commemorate the event, including a small teddy bear with "I (heart) WSU" on it. The entire softball program was in attendance to welcome Moleski onboard.
Not only is she now officially signed with the softball team, she has been attending practices, games and team events, including throwing out the first pitch at a game last spring.
Nicole Tines, an assistant coach for WSU softball, said the team attended one of Moleski’s games over the summer.
Bryce added that he is impressed at how his team has welcomed Moleski with open arms.
"The kids have really been wonderful with her, I give them a lot of credit," said Bryce. "They've really taken her in and made her a part of it and they didn't have to."
After the press conference, Tessa participated in skills workshop with the team while her family was able to tag along and watch.