Saturday, March 30, 2013

Middle school cheer squad welcomes new member with Down Syndrome

from WCSH 6 Portland by Michele Mullen:
A 13-year-old girl is learning it isn't easy being a cheerleader.
"I think it's pretty cool that I'm a cheerleader," said Sarah Hill.
Hill's 30 new teammates think it's pretty cool that she's with them.
"It definitely has pulled us closer, cause like, everybody is helping Sarah, so it's like a team basically now," said teammate Rashel Vega. "Usually it was like, eighth-graders on one side, seventh-graders on the other, sixth-graders on the other, and like everybody had just joined together into a really big team."
The seed was planted in Hill's mind in early March while watching a cheer performance. The eighth-grader, who has Down Syndrome, turned to her aid and said she wanted to join the team.
"She said, 'Jessica, I'm going to be a cheerleader someday,' and I looked at her and I got a little teary-eyed and I said, 'Yeah, you are.'" said aid Jessica Ortiz.
Calls were made and a plan was put into place, a day later, Hill was invited to join the New Brighton Middle School team.
"It just make me proud, proud of what we can do as people for each other, and Sarah's done a lot more for me than I've done for her," said cheerleading coach Jen Walker.

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