Joy Siler

2017 Scholars
High School: 
Charles D. Owen High School
City, State: 
Asheville, North Carolina

When I look at all I’m passionate about, it comes back to one thing: stories. I grew up on a fourteen acre farm in the mountains of Asheville, NC. From the beginning, I had cousins to explore with and an amazing space in which my imagination could run free. When I wasn’t playing make believe, I was begging to hear a story from my parents, grandparents, aunts, or uncles. Then I learned to read. Reading transformed my world and introduced me to the delicate and powerful art of storytelling. If boiled down to its simplest form, I am driven by a desire to hear just one more story.

I love to travel, to hear and see the stories, both past and present, of lives so utterly different from my own. I want to major in Theater because there is nothing more eye opening than embodying a story that is not your own. With every character I play, I feel a closer connection with humanity as a whole. For my graduation project in high school, I studied a restorative bodywork therapy called Ortho-Bionomy. This sparked my interest in bodywork and physical therapy. Every body has a story. If I pursue physical therapy, I would get to work with these stories to restore and strengthen people’s bodies.

Stories are powerful. Stories can bring people together. Stories can energize, inspire and heal. My goal is to find these stories, hear these stories and share them. The best part is that the history and culture of the Appalachian Mountains is abundant with rich stories, waiting to be told. Based on my interactions with my fellow Wilson Scholars, I know I am not the only one with a passion to understand and create connections between others. I love how immensely diverse our world is and believe that the root of many problems is a lack of understanding. So let's create more empathy and change the world, one story at a time.