The views expressed in this column reflect those of the columnist and may not reflect those of the Asbury Park Reporter.
I’m not a huge football fan, but I will be tuning in on February 12, at 6:30 p.m. to witness the event. If you are an Asbury Park resident, I think this is one game you don’t wanna miss. The event will also offer a clear view of the greatness that is the West Side of Asbury Park. Our city’s own Mya Sims will be cheering the Eagles on to an expected victory in her uniform, pom poms in hand, along with her greatest accessory – her beautiful smile. If her presence on the field at her very first Super Bowl isn’t enough to make you tune in, a rundown of highlights from her impressive resume should do the trick.
This year’s Super Bowl will be written down in the archives, no matter which team walks away with the win. For the first time ever, and during Black History Month no less, two melanated quarterbacks will direct a symphony on the field. Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles will be opposite Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs to face off for the victory.
Mya was born and raised in Asbury Park by her parents, lifelong residents Pamela Shepherd and Eugene Sims. Many talented children grow up as starved artists, however, Mya was fed soul food in healthy adult portions. Her parents saw her gift and helped her put it in working order. Mya was enrolled at the Asbury Park Academy of Technical Dance at the early age of four. Here she would learn tap, ballet, jazz, and modern dance.
By the age of five, Mya was cheerleading and could be found performing at every Pop Warner game the Monmouth Falcons played, until she aged out at 14. This experience took her to Florida every year for the Nationals, where she experienced only two losses which resulted in second place titles. She also spent a summer performing at the renowned American Ballet Theater in New York City.
Mya’s academic achievements were just as important to her parents. She attended Mount Carmel and Red Bank Regional High School as a serial High Honor Roll student. Mya also excelled throughout her college career, while keeping a dance in her feet.
In 2020, she earned her degree in Business Marketing from Temple University, after a short stint at Montclair University. The summer after graduation, Mya accepted a remote internship with NASA. Her out-of-this-world energy pulled in a bountiful harvest for her enormous efforts.
Soon after her internship with NASA was complete, a once in a lifetime opportunity came from the Philadelphia Eagles and she’s been flying high ever since.
Mya currently works for Research Partnership in PA. Sims has created a balance in her life that most creatives never achieve. She is using her gifts as a dancer while still building her professional career both on and off the field.
Many will say it’s hard growing up in Asbury Park for a little black girl and the odds are against us. Sometimes all you need is a spirit of agreeance in your life to achieve sensational things. Ms. Mya Sims is a rose that grew from concrete, due to her parents pouring love through the cracks. The ratings should go up due to the folks who took the same way to school as she did or played on the teams she spoke triumph over every week – all trying to catch a glimpse of her in action.
There’s an Auntie who should be cooking Sunday because, quiet as it’s kept, she was her favorite on the squad. But she ain’t one to gossip, so y’all ain’t heard that from her. So just stop by, get a plate, and hush up. Where’s the Uncle who already knows what he’s wearing to Bilow’s to call her his niece, even though they’ve never met. Somebody’s Nana should be praying while they salute the flag. Praying in Jesus’ name for the baby to keep her voice, and for her strength to be restored in the blink of an eye once she’s done prophesying over those handsome football players. All of this, simply because she knows God is using her, and that’s why she is so blessed…Amen.
We should all make a joyful noise in her honor. As far as I’m concerned, if Mya Sims is going to the Super Bowl, we all going to the Super Bowl. Mya is one of our living Legends and usually when you find one, many more will follow.
Remember darling, the show must go on, and in good fashion.