Club teen Pearle Peterson is about to get the opportunity of a lifetime — to sing the national anthem at the World Series. With help from her Club mentor, Pearle’s excited (and nail-bitingly nervous) to take on her biggest stage yet.
18-year-old Pearle Peterson grew up thinking her opportunities for singing might not reach beyond the high school auditorium. But after singing to 3,000 people at Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Conference in summer of 2023, she’s now headed to the big leagues — singing the national anthem at the World Series.
Pearle’s been a member of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington for 11 years, honing her singing skills at every talent show the Club would offer. She says no one will be cheering harder than her Club staff and peers as she makes her national TV debut.
We spoke with Pearle about her love for singing and her advice for kids with big passions and even bigger dreams. Read on to learn more and be sure to tune in for Game 2 of the World Series on Oct. 28, 2023 to hear Pearle sing the national anthem.
A: I’ve been singing since I could talk.
Music has always been such a tremendous part of my life and has shaped so much of who I am as a person. I started like most aspiring musicians do: singing along to YouTube karaoke tracks and imagining myself in front of an audience.
Whether I’m on stage or in my garage, the way I feel when I sing is almost indescribable. Every note feels like an accomplishment and a step further into being a better performer.
I’m a small-town girl in a relatively quiet town, but when I’m performing, I truly feel larger than life. It’s a confidence boost you can’t find anywhere else.
A: My Club has supported my musicality since day one, giving me a spot in our local talent shows and always cheering me on. They gave me more than just musical support too. They’ve been there to help me succeed academically and socially, and so many of the good qualities within my character have been because of this amazing organization.
My Club mentor has been so amazing in supporting me. Not only is she a fellow musician, but she’s my club confidante and a shoulder to lean on. Her optimism, hard work ethic and love for what she does has inspired and encouraged so many kids.
During my time preparing for Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2023 National Conference — where I was to sing onstage for more than 3,000 people — my mentor and I would spend so much time laughing and re-recording songs my nerves made it near impossible to get through a video without giggling. Her patience and enthusiasm made me feel so comfortable and confident with the pieces I did.
A: Singing for the World Series doesn’t feel real. I know I won’t be able to fully grasp the gravity of this opportunity until I’m on the field — with my mom’s voice in my head telling me, “Please don’t anxiously bite your nails!”
To prepare, I’m singing and rehearsing during any free moment I have and I’m still trying to convince myself this is even really happening. I’ve never felt more excited and curious about the future of my music career. The excitement and support I’m feeling is also so surreal. I’m feeling lots of love from my family, my Boys & Girls Club Unit Director, and my best friend and fellow Club kid Andrew as I prepare to take on this performance. They’ve done so good reassuring me that this is something I’ve worked for and earned. It feels amazing.
A: I spent so much time thinking that ever taking a stage bigger than a high school auditorium was this impossible dream.
I always knew that there would be people out there more talented, but in that same breath, have always felt that there was nobody out there who wanted it as bad as I did.
As my Club’s CEO always tells me: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” I’m feeling that a lot these days. This is only the beginning and I’m so ready to take a dive into the deep end and pursue my dreams full force.
To all the other kids out there with dreams bigger than the boundaries they are facing, I can’t stress enough: when things seem tough, don’t be afraid to get tougher. Don’t lose hope, don’t lose drive and, most importantly, never lose your passion.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America is proud to partner with Major League Baseball to ensure today’s kids have safe places, caring mentors and life-shaping experiences at Boys & Girls Club, including experiential opportunities that create memories to last a lifetime. Each year at the World Series, Boys & Club kids get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver the game ball to the mound.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America provides safe places, caring adult mentors and life-shaping programs to millions of kids and teens each year. In safe, inclusive places, youth build the skills and resilience to thrive in school, the workplace and in life. Join us on our mission of helping all young people reach their full potential: