“I’m a basketball player. I was born to play basketball. You were born for something.” Motivational speaker Carole Fisher visited Mrs. Major’s Leadership classes this week.
Married 48 years with four children and nine grandchildren, Mrs. Fisher talked to 9th grade students about how she was born to play basketball. She came to speak at Foley High because she was born to be a basketball player, and she even brought her own ball to class. She loves basketball! She told students they were also born to be something, to do something, even if they haven’t discovered what it is yet.
“Each one of you, whether you have a sports gift or another talent, was born for greatness. Greatness lives in you.”
The Day that Changed Their Lives
Mrs. Fisher described how one late Saturday night in July of 2012, she was getting ready for church the next morning, setting out her and her husband’s clothes. Her cell phone rang to tell her that Wendy Fisher, her oldest daughter, has been shot and had passed away. In one moment, during that telephone call, their lives had changed.
Three days after her daughter was murdered in her own yard, Mobile police had located suspects. Wendy had been shot by two half brothers, Trayon Washington and Pat Brown, who went on trial for the murder of Wendy Fisher. Trayon Washington was age 17 and a 9th grade high school drop out. The 20-year-old driver of the car, Pat Brown, was also arrested for aiding and abetting, charged with 1st degree murder for being with someone who committed a crime.
WKRG.com offered details from both back seat passengers in the car, Anatice White and Keyonte Evans, both of which testified that Washington shot Wendy Fisher. They said that while driving on Racine Avenue, they saw Ms. Fisher crossing the street to get her dog. She yelled for them to slow down as they passed. Pat Brown stopped driving the car and told her they weren’t speeding. From the driveway, Wendy’s boyfriend Robert Russo approached the car and got into an argument.
With one foot outside the car, Trayon Washington fired three shots. Russo dodged the bullets; one fatally hit Wendy Fisher in the chest.
“This is not a world I live in. This is not a world I should be going through. This is not a world that my family should be going through. No matter what the results are this week, we know that the District Attorney’s office has done an impeccable job and we believe justice will come eventually,” Carol Fisher was quoted on WKRG.com.
Washington was convicted of murder with a life sentence, while the driver of the car, Brown, was sentenced to 30 years in addition to 15 years for a prior conviction.
Why does Mrs. Fisher speak to high school classes?
Mrs. Fisher wants students to know the power of education, the power of staying in school. She stresses that it matters who you hang around. Had there been no gun in the car, there would have been no shooting. Choices matter. Even if there was a gun in the car, Trayon Washington didn’t have to pull the trigger. He had a choice.
She had students answer the question, “If you had all the time, talent, and all the money you needed, what would you do?”
Mrs. Fisher had several key points to share with Mrs. Major’s classes.
You have a choice.
Stay in school.
Get an education.
As long as you’re breathing, you still have a choice.
Mrs. Fisher brings her message to a lot of schools and community groups, where she talks about surviving a traumatic event. Speaking about her loss and what her family has gone through have helped her cope, as well as her faith in God. She has written a book called That Day.
Madelynn North, Wendy Fisher’s daughter, is graduating from Murphy High School this month. She was 16 when she lost her mother. She talked about her mom’s hugs and kisses at the sentencing, adding, “I can never get that back, all because you never thought twice about pulling that trigger.”
Carole Fisher told WKRG.com during their coverage of the trial that despite the grief, “We’re moving forward. I still miss my daughter. Because two men made a ridiculous decision, they took her life.”
Mrs. Fisher had wise advice for freshman going forward in school and in life.
“As long as it’s inside of you, you can go after it. Go for it. Follow your calling.”