Taleka Waters is a long-time Monarchs parent and team manager. A Philadelphia native, she is the Assistant Principal at Universal Institute Charter School in South Philadelphia. Taleka and her husband Chris have two sons, Chris and Josh, who are members of our 15U and 9U cohorts. Both boys attend the Haverford School. We asked Taleka to play "3 Up, 3 Down" with us.
1. Who are three people who had an impact on your life?
It is very hard to focus on only three people that have had an impact on my life. There have been so many influential people that have contributed to who I am today that I believe it would dishonor those that I did not mention. So I would like to speak to the importance of the statement, “It takes a village.” I grew up in the inner city of Philadelphia in an area similar to many of our Monarch youth. It took the support of neighbors, relatives, coaches, and teachers to keep me on the right trajectory. The Monarch program is truly the village that supports the lives of children that may not be successful in other areas of their lives. This program creates an environment for children to feel successful, which propels them to excel in other areas of their lives. Playing with the Monarchs allows every child to interact with positive individuals and family, including coaches, team parents, and all the caring adults that stand on the sideline to give verbal praise and support.
2. What are three strong memories you have from your time with the Monarchs?
1- Joshua’s excitement of becoming an official Monarch and getting his uniform after so many years of watching his brother play.
2- Christopher's team winning our first Tri-State Elite Baseball League Championship in 2015 (the first of three straight!)
3- Chris going to Florida at age 14 to play baseball without his parents - this demonstrated his independence and growth.
3. What are three things you find yourself having to tell Josh and Chris over and over again?
1- Please make sure you have everything!
2- Have fun!
3- Use what you learn in practice.
Bonus: What does “The Monarch Way” mean to you?
To be a Monarch means to:
Be a team player
As a Monarch my sons have learned that winning isn’t everything. They have learned the importance of facing their opponent with integrity during victory as well as defeat. My sons have learned how the ups and downs of the game can relate to the trials and tribulations of everyday life (school, friendships, and their choices). They have learned that their individual choices affect everyone (this can be a hard lesson for adults to understand, and its great to see my kids learning it at a young age).