With photo of Joycelyn Ford

Photo credit: Shaniya Mitchell

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Leader of the Pack: Drumline

Ford defeats fears, breaks through comfort zone

By Zillie Daniels

Silver Lariat Staff writer

Joycelynn Ford has defeated her fears and come out of her comfort zone to become the first woman to lead the Madison County High School drumline. Her story is one that started with humble beginnings. As she emerged in middle school, she was a shy and quiet young girl, but she decided to take a chance and join a marching band.

Through her years in band she mastered and excelled at a number of instruments including quint, snare, bass, trombone, baritone, xylophone and a mean triangle. She was asked what gave her the courage to take the chance, but she could not explain. Ford took a chance and it paid off.

Although the position that she has acquired has been fulfilling, it has not completely been what she thought that it would be. Ford made it clear that she felt some fellow band members did not take her serious due to her being a woman, but she did not let that deter her.

She continued to persevere and changed the minds of her peers with her talents and her skills. Her skills, she described are “undeniable.” Ford has many roles and responsibilities, some include making sure everyone has everything that they need.

“I also make sure that everyone understands and is comfortable with the music,” she explained. “I also make sure that the voices of the members in drumline are heard. Joining the band has encouraged me to keep going.”

Ford wants to become a part of the Florida A&M University family to study criminal justice. She wants to make sure that this world is a safe place… a place where young people from all around do not have to worry about when the next incident will happen.

While studying at FAMU, she wants to join the famous Marching 100 as a member of the drumline. “I want to play snare and eventually become P1,” Ford said.

Her dreams have been encouraged by the people around her. She said that the younger girls motivate her to become better.

“Every parade when I see these young girls excited to see us...to see me, I feel good,” Ford said. “I feel like I’m making a difference.”

It is those moments that make what she does worth it all, Ford admitted. The long practices in the hot sun, staying up late trying to memorize music, and managing the different personalities in drumline are all part of being a leader. Along with being a great drumline

captain, she is also a farm girl. Ford has been apart of Future Farmers of America (FFA) for all four years of high school. She is secretary and said she could not be any happier.

She loves animals. Her love of animals started when she would visit her family farm in Live Oak, Fla.

“I love animals,” she said. “They are peaceful and they help me to just take a minute and just breathe.”

She explained that being with animals is her happy place.

“You have to be selfless and you can’t worry about yourself when you are taking care of someone else,” she said.

Ford is a young woman with the mind of a scholar and the heart of gold.

The future looks bright for her. The sky's the limit, but with someone who is as great as Ford that might not be enough.