Believe in Me, a dedicated organization committed to aiding students in secondary education, proudly continued its support for student-athletes in 2023. This year, we intensified our efforts by not only contributing to Washington schools’ athletic funds but also by actively participating in the Washington State University (WSU) football season. We secured season tickets for all WSU home games and hosted vibrant tailgates, reinforcing our mission at each event.
Believe in Me’s Core Mission: Empowering Student-Athletes
Under the guidance of our CEO, Julie Wukelic, these tailgating events were a beacon for board members, donors, volunteers, and individuals intrigued by our goal to uplift marginalized kids. We utilized these gatherings as platforms to promote the importance of supporting student-athletes. This support is vital for opening future opportunities for these hardworking young individuals.
The 2023 WSU Football Season: A New Chapter
In 2023, the WSU football team showed remarkable spirit and resilience across their home games in Pullman, WA. This season was marked by memorable performances, reflecting the team’s unwavering dedication and the intense training they underwent. The team’s record of 5-7 was a disappointment, coming off a bowl game appearance from the previous year. The standard for WSU is to go to bowl games and winning seasons, year in and year out. The 2024 football season looks to be amazing, with WSU getting back to their winning ways, and, hopefully, another bowl game appearance.
Tailgating for a Cause: Bringing the Community Together
Our tailgate events were more than just pre-game festivities; they were a hub for sharing impactful stories and raising awareness about our work with marginalized youth. These events saw an impressive turnout, leading to significant donations that will bolster our initiatives to aid student-athletes in their educational and athletic endeavors. Plus, they were a blast! Great food, drinks, and good times were had by all who attended!
2023 PAC-12 Conference Changes: Impact on WSU Athletics
The 2023 season was also noteworthy for the significant changes in the PAC-12 conference to the Pac-2 conference, with only WSU & Oregon State University (OSU) remaining. These changes include revised scheduling and the introduction of new competitive strategies. WSU will be playing Mountain West teams in football and a West Coast Conference schedule for all remaining sports teams in 2024-25. This presents both challenges and opportunities for WSU. Our involvement in these events allowed us to witness firsthand how these shifts are reshaping the landscape of collegiate athletics, particularly for WSU teams.
The Apple Cup: Unity in Rivalry
The highlight of the season remained the Apple Cup, a storied rivalry between WSU and the University of Washington (UW). Hosted at Husky Stadium in Seattle, this event, despite the outcome, demonstrated the spirited community and rivalry that is central to college football. Next year’s Apple Cup game will be played in September in Seattle at Seahawk Stadium. A return to Pullman will happen, but not until 2025 at GESA Stadium versus the Huskies.
Fostering Community and Support: The Success of Tailgating Events
Reflecting on the 2023 season, Believe in Me takes pride in the success of our tailgating events and the impact we’ve made in supporting student-athlete education. Through these events, we’ve connected with new supporters and raised substantial funds for our programs, enabling us to further our mission. As we look to the future, we remain committed to inspiring others to join us in supporting the education and development of these dedicated student-athletes. Go Cougs!