Cece is an idea girl from Kalona, Iowa who started a roller derby program for kids in her area. She noticed that there wasn't anything like it and begged her parents to begin a league that's inclusive of all genders, religions, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. A few years later, we stopped by practice to ask Cece a few questions about her idea.
DESCRIBE THE IDEA OR PROJECT YOU ARE WORKING ON.
IC Bruisers is a roller derby program for kids from any background. We basically take anyone that's willing to follow instructions. Right now, we have 60 active skaters, with our youngest being 4-year-olds and our oldest being 17-year-olds. We practice twice a week and compete with other teams in the Iowa and Illinois area. We accept members of all identities and don't discriminate. We want this to be a place where everyone feels like they can be their true selves.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR IDEA?
I've been watching roller derby since I was 3 years old. I was so obsessed, I even dressed up as a derby girl for Halloween for a few years. When my family moved to Iowa from the South, I figured that roller derby was just a southern thing and that they didn't have it in Iowa. But then my dad got involved in refereeing, and I wanted a roller derby league for kids. Since there wasn't one in the area, I begged my dad to help me start one.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED SO FAR AND HOW HAVE YOU OVERCOME THEM? HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU IN THIS?
At first, it was hard to find other teams that were willing to play us. Like I mentioned before, there weren't any teams in the area, so most of the teams we play are pretty far away. Another challenge that we face is funding. Everything we do is run by volunteers. We make most of our money off of concessions and the merchandise table at our games. One way to support us is by coming to our games; the calendar is on our website. We get a lot of motivation from fans. The website also has a page with more information about getting involved.
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR IDEA?
Because of roller derby, my family extends beyond the people I live with and am related to. I have made so many friends and consider a lot of these people to be family. I know the other kids in the program feel this, too. When I have a bad day, I know I can come skate it out at practice. It's almost therapeutic.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR MANTRA?
"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not." -Kurt Cobain
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG GIRLS THAT WANT TO MAKE THEIR IDEAS HAPPEN?
Even if it seems unlikely that there's a shred of possibility, just go for it.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES?
I love art. I mostly draw and paint and like to use charcoal. Someday, I'd like to become a tattoo artist. But first, I want to go to college and major in Art and Communications with a minor in something like Sociology.
If you know a girl with a story like Cece's, nominate her to be our next featured Idea Girl!