In Highlands Ranch, Colorado, three special needs students
- Mya Zucker, Aly Landauer, and Caroline Elliott - have long dreamed of being cheerleaders at Highlands Ranch High School. The three friends frequently talked about their dream with one another and their parents. Unfortunately, all three believed they would have difficulty making the team because of their disabilities. Mya, who has a learning disability, has trouble processing new information as quickly as others. Caroline and Aly both have unclassified disabilities, but include sensory issues and attributes similar to autism.
Though fearful of their inability to cheer, the three brave girls approached the cheer coach, Brooke Montano, and expressed their desires to cheer, who immediately added them to the team, telling local news CBS Denver, "why not have them here? Let them cheer for their high school and be a part of their school in a big way."
Once on the team, Brooke was determined to reduce the uniform costs
for the three new cheerleaders and their parents. She started a fundraiser selling popcorn door-to-door that raised money for the uniforms. The entire varsity squad helped so Mya, Aly, and Caroline wouldn't have to pay for their cheer uniforms
One cheerleader on the squad, Lauren Juracka, told CBS Denver about helping with the fundraiser
, "I was actually really excited because I knew it was for a good cause."
Already, the girls are cheering at football games with their amazing squad. We are so inspired by this squad
and their story. Not only do Mya, Aly, and Caroline prove that special needs students can achieve their cheer dreams, but also that many cheerleaders and coaches are truly spirited and always willing to help out a fellow cheerleader and community member.
Check out the video below for more on the story!
News Source: CBS Denver
Does this story inspire you? Are there any special needs students on your school squad?