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From the eDitor
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
--Stephen Stills in his song
“There’s Something Happening Here”
this winter, young people across the nation, including in the Blue Water area, began
speaking their minds following the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
The five young women on the cover of this issue – students from Port Huron High
School and Port huron northern high School -- were instrumental in organizing both a
student walk-out honoring the victims of Parkland and a community-wide march for gun
control. and they were not, by any means, the only local young people who were involved.
other high schools and school districts in the
Blue Water area also participated in those
events and i commend every single young
person in our community who stepped up,
got involved and helped create a number of
very successful and inspiring events.
When I sat down with the five young
women on the cover – a group of 16-, 17-
and 18-year-old political activists – my faith
in the future, in particular my faith in the
young women of the future – was not only
renewed, but it was rejuvenated.
i am in absolute awe of them.
this generation of young women is so alert,
so in-tune, so aware of everything going on
in the world – Lily Hurtubise cracked me
up when, in the middle of the interview, she
ranted about something she had read the day
before on twitter: “canada! We pissed off
CANADA! How do you do that?” – they put
my high school-self to shame.
crap, i got i excited when i planned a
fundraising dance for the drama club.
this group of students organized a
community march that drew between 500
and 1,000 people. that’s one. thousand. People.
lucy WicKingS SPeaKS to the croWD
at the gun control march
in Port huron in march
not only did they organize it with their peers and elders in order to make sure all of the
many details were addressed, but they also gave rousing speeches. i know, because i was
at the gun control march and even though, at that point in time, i didn’t know any of the
young people there, tears rolled down my face. i was so proud of them.
their parents, teachers and other adults who raised them should be so very proud of
But my tears were also for them. Back in 1981, when i was planning that high school
dance, it never in a million years would have crossed my mind that i would need to worry
about getting shot at school.
Though the five of them were kind of thrown together by the circumstance of planning
these events, they were not previously close friends and four of them are headed off to
college in various states this fall. our community is richer for having had them here, but i
am sad to lose them.
“i want you guys to keep in touch,” i told them at the end of our interview. “i mean,
you don’t have to be BFFs or anything, but keep in touch. i want you all to get together
someday five or 10 years from now and look back at this and say, “We really, really did
something special. We were the sh--.”
Because they really are.
the Future iS Female 4
Jozlyn BoyD 6
Kathy hayman 8
in Blue Water Woman!
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Volume 7, numBer 2 Summer 2018
Blue Water Woman is published quarterly by the Write company,
511 la Salle Blvd., Port huron, mi 48060. circulation 5,000.
Editor & Publisher:
Patti Samar, owner, the Write company
Advertising inquiries, editorial questions, comments or story ideas?
Patti Samar at email@example.com
Blue Water Woman is the premiere publication
for women living, working and playing
in the Blue Water area of michigan.
its stories and features are written and designed
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2 Summer 2018 BlueWaterWoman.com
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Summer 2018 BlueWaterWoman.com 3
hear them roar
They are women; hear them roar.
I recently asked five local high school students – four members of
the class of 2018 and one entering her junior year – to give me an
hour of their time on a Saturday morning, to chat about their recent
involvement in organizing a school walkout in early March in honor
of the victims of the Parkland, Florida, shooting, and then later in
March a community-wide gun control march that attracted between
500 and 1,000 people to downtown Port Huron.
Three hours after our conversation began, they were still hanging
out in my office. I don’t think any of us really wanted to leave.
For them, I hope it was an opportunity to reflect, a few months
after the fact, on what they had achieved in terms of learning how to
organize a community event successfully and also the importance of
speaking out and making sure your voice is heard.
For me, it was an opportunity to sit,
in awe, of five amazing young women.
They couldn’t be more different; they
come from all walks of life. Two of them
attended Port Huron High School and
three attended Port Huron Northern High
When I asked them, at one point in the
conversation, what each of them hoped to
accomplish over the next five or 10 years
or even in their lifetime, Paige Cronce, at
16, the youngest member of the group,
answered very succinctly: “I think that
all of our careers are going to change lives,
Paige, I’ve got news for you: You already
have…you already have.
Below is a condensed Q&A of our
discussion. It was, for me, enlightening
and encouraging. It helped me believe that
there is, indeed, hope for the future.
BWW: So, how did all of you end up
being involved in organizing these two
events following the tragedy in Parkland?
Lily Hurtubise, PHH: “I remember
hearing about the school in Parkland and
it occurred to me that if that happened
here, someone sitting next to me wouldn’t
be able to graduate from high school. You
hear all the news about it, but I just felt
like, ‘Let’s do something about it. If the
Parkland kids can do it, we can do it.’”
Whitney Wilson, PHN: “Both my
parents and aunts are teachers in the district and just thinking I
could lose any of my family members at any time motivated me.”
Lucy Wickings, PHH: “I’m super into mental health and people
were saying, ‘It’s not guns, it’s mental health’…but it’s both.”
Katie Miller, PHN: “I helped organize the walk out, but the school
district was very clear it had to be about ‘honoring the victims’ and it
couldn’t be political…but our principal was very supportive.”
Paige Cronce, PHN: “I was angry that something like this was
becoming normal. It really motivated me to do something because no
one else was.”
Though two of the young women from the different schools knew
4 Summer 2018 BlueWaterWoman.com
by Patti Samar
from left to right: Katie miller;
paige cronce; lily hurtubise;
lucy wickings; and whitney wilson
each other previously – they played soccer together as kids – once
they individually approached their principals about organizing
some kind of supportive event, their principals directed them to one
another within their own schools and then, through social media,
they reached out to one another.
BWW: So, what is your take on the politicians who are now in office
and are empowered to take a look at these issues and enact change?
Are they inspiring to you or disappointing or do you think more could
be done? Do you see yourself as continuing to be politically involved
or possibly running for office one day?
Miller: “Just because they are in office, doesn’t mean they are
smarter than us. We are waiting to hear a voice and wanting someone
to tell us change is coming. We are obligated to go to school. To turn it
around on (politicians): You are just as obligated to make sure we are
safe in school. And the NRA (National
Rifle Association): You are the villain
because you won’t make sure people are
safe around guns.”
Wilson, who served as class president:
“I could see myself running for office
someday. But I have friends who literally
say they would not vote for a female
Cronce: “I’m definitely going to be
going to rallies and doing what I can to
Hurtubise: “By getting involved now,
we’re all putting ourselves in the perfect
position to be in leadership roles.”
But what about their male
counterparts? Though a couple of
the young women were able to name
one or two male classmates or males
at other local high schools who got
involved in organizing the events in
March, Hurtubise summed it up: “The
guys didn’t want to be in leadership
Each young woman has vastly
different plans for her future, with careers
ranging from law school and teaching
to the business world of corporate
America. As they look forward, do they
see themselves and their counterparts in
a position of power? Do they have the
ability to make change?
Wilson: “Our generation is definitely
Cronce: “Our generation is going to be the one with people in those
positions of power.”
And what about all of them? Do they realize what a Really Big
Deal impact they’ve had on their community? And, though most of
them are all more friendly acquaintances who share a common belief
system than BFFs, will they remain in touch as they leave the Blue
Water Area to pursue school and career dreams?
Wickings: “I like that I can say, ‘I knew her when…’ We are going
to be the start of something.”
I’d say they already are.
Summer 2018 BlueWaterWoman.com 5
keeping the faith
by PATTI SAMAR
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
A woman of strong faith, Jozlyn Boyd of Port Huron is
counting on God to see her through the tough times ahead of
She knows that He is there for her, because He has answered
her prayers in the past.
Life has not been easy by any stretch of the word for the single
mother who is a recent survivor of sexual assault following a life
filled with years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of
almost every man she has ever loved, beginning with her father.
Recently diagnosed with uterine cancer, Boyd is praying and
mentally preparing herself for what will certainly be the one of
her most difficult challenges so far, and quite possibly the fight of
The 34-year-old single mother was pregnant with her third
child and living in Metro Detroit when she knew that her life and
the lives of her children depended on
leaving an abusive situation.
So, she packed up her children,
called an Uber and asked to be taken
to the Blue Water Safe Horizons
shelter in Port Huron. Why here?
“I came here to flee,” she said
solemnly. Prior to ordering the Uber,
she had looked online and found a
shelter far enough away from an
abusive relationship that she couldn’t
“I’m a woman of God and it was
meant to be,” she said. “Coming here
was a real blessing for me to be able to
get away from the bad circumstances
and to also find peace within myself
and peace for my children.”
Boyd took shelter at Carolyn’s
Place, owned and operated by
BWSH, and they helped her enroll
in the STEPS Affordable Housing program coordinated by the
Michigan State Housing Authority. BWSH serves as landlord
for four MISHA homes in the Blue Water Area and recommends
tenants, such as Boyd.
After receiving help locating this safe and affordable housing,
Boyd got a job; she now works at a fast food restaurant.
“I’m an independent person and it was hard to reach out and
get help from Safe Horizons,” she said. “It would be different if
it was just me, but having my children, I needed to get on my
knees and say, ‘I need help…’ And if there are resources to assist
you, it’s okay to ask.”
Settling into her Port Huron neighborhood has been a real
6 Summer 2018 BlueWaterWoman.com
God-send to Boyd. “I have great neighbors who welcomed us,”
she said. “My neighbors are amazing.”
Feeling safe and secure in her home is something new for Boyd,
who lost her mother when she was just 10 years old. She and
a sister were then raised by their father, but it was not an easy
“My father was my caregiver, but he was my first abuser,”
she said. “He was very controlling and he was physically and
“I think that is why I made excuses for other men as I got
older. I thought that was the way you showed someone love.”
A mother of three, her two older children, ages 14 and 8, share
“I was with him since I was 17 years old,” she said. “But he
was abusive and I moved to Texas to flee him years ago…but
he found me and he’s in prison there
now. But he came from a long line of
abusers; his parents were murdered
when he was a child and he was in
the house when it happened.”
Before the pair permanently parted
ways, Boyd received a serious eye
injury as a result of being hit by him.
“I have advanced keratoconus
due to an injury in my eye,” she
said. “It’s when the cornea is
disfigured.” Though there are, in
fact, medical treatments that can fix
the keratoconus, Boyd does not have
insurance that will cover the medical
expenses that would be incurred and
she cannot afford to pay for it out-ofpocket.
When searching for a shelter where
she could go to escape from another
abuser, she selected Blue Water Safe
Horizons for a number of reasons, among them the thought that
she was interested in enrolling in culinary school and the fact
that there was such an opportunity in Port Huron caught her
“I did graduate from high school and I do have some culinary
arts schooling under my belt,” said Boyd, who noted that she
cooks for her church and loves creating in the kitchen.
Now, with her recent cancer diagnosis, Boyd is putting the
thought of culinary school on hold in order to focus on getting
“You know, it’s peaceful here,” she said. “I was brought here
for a reason and for a purpose. I’m hoping that telling my story
might help somebody else. It’s all in God’s plan.”
Summer 2018 BlueWaterWoman.com 7
year of the
by dale hemmila
8 Summer 2018 BlueWaterWoman.com
While 2018 is being touted as “The Year of the Woman” in reference
to the vast number of women running for elected office, residents of the
Blue Water Area don’t have to look very far to find women serving as
local elected officials.
And while she is not a part of this 2018 political trend, Marysville City
Councilwoman Kathy Hayman is an advocate.
“I absolutely believe women have a lot of good ideas and we think
differently than men,” she said recently while reflecting on her three
years on the city council. “We deserve to be at the table and to help move
Hayman, a Marysville native and resident of the city for 51 of her 58
years, was elected to the council in 2015 and this year was selected by
her fellow council members to serve as Mayor Pro Tem. Hayman’s 2015
campaign was her first attempt to run for elected office, but it was not her
first bid to join the city council. She applied to fill a vacant seat in 2013
but wasn’t selected. That loss motivated her to get on the ballot.
Her thought at the time: “I wasn’t picked, so I’ll run.”
She ran and she won. That probably shouldn’t be a surprise for those
in Marysville aware of her family history. Her father, Joseph Johns,
served on the city council almost continually from 1951 to 2013. In fact,
Marysville City Council Chambers are named after him.
“I’ve grown up with (that service),” she said. “I watched and always
admired my dad; he was a very good role model. I wanted to be a part of
it just to help move (the city) forward.”
One of her hopes is to help transform Marysville, currently a city
spread out with strip malls, standalone businesses and residences.
“There are a lot of cool things going on in this city but I want to create
a downtown,” she said. “We don’t know where it will be, perhaps the
old DTE site depending on what happens there, but some place that’s
walkable with shops and restaurants.”
Whether that’s a realistic goal only time will tell. Certainly there would
be costs involved, but Hayman, who has been the controller for 18 years
for Harrison Township-based Electrex Industrial Solutions, has a good
feel for how budgeting works. Calling herself middle of the road when it
comes to politics, she is not afraid to look ahead financially.
“There’s only so much money to go around,” she said. “But we have to
be progressive and move forward.”
As in many small towns, that means a council that is working in sync
and Hayman believes Marysville leadership is in good hands.
“We try to work together and complement each other,” she said,
referring to the council. “We try to be transparent and that’s very
important to all of us.”
That includes continuing to apply her controller skills to Marysville
budgeting while acknowledging, however, that the city budget “has a
couple of more zeros” to try to manage. She says managing the different
department budgets while protecting funding for legacy items such as
city pensions is an important goal.
Hayman encourages other women to run for elected office.
“Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb,” she said. “Take a deep breath
and do it. Don’t be afraid of the guys; give back to the community when
it’s your time. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake; it’s how we learn.”
As for her own political future, she plans to stay active.
“If our current mayor doesn’t run again, I will run for mayor,” she said.
That would certainly be a nod to her family’s history of service and
perhaps a look to the future with three-year-old granddaughter Zola
“I hope I can be a role model for my granddaughter,” Hayman said.
“We (women) need to be heard.”
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