STUTTGART, Ark. — A Stuttgart High School 10th grader named Winnie White is making history by becoming the first special needs cheerleader to make the squad.
"She always talked about cheering, and now she gets to do it at her high school,” said Teanekha Murry, Winnie White’s mother.
Winnie White is described as the epitome of happy-go-lucky in the town of Stuttgart.
So, she adds more positivity to her cheerleading team.
Winnie is busy learning the ropes this week ahead of her first football game on Friday night.
"She's always smiling, always willing to learn. That's what I love about her,” said Hagan Hord, Winnie’s cheer captain.
Hord, a senior, said Winnie is like a spark that has ignited into so much more than just a cheerleader.
"She's a role model. We need that for our team. She's the perfect addition,” said Hord.
Making the team wasn't as easy for Winnie. Living with special needs has come with challenges.
"Her struggles are a little bit different than others. She can't go sign up for things or fill out an application, but I want her to flourish at anything she wants to do,” said Murry.
Winnie's doing more than just flourishing.
At one point, doctors didn't know how functional she might be, but now she's walking, talking, and bringing laughter to practice every day and paving the way for future Ricebird cheerleaders who are just like her.
"For people who are a little different than everybody else, it's harder for them to do things, so for her doing this, people like her have someone to look up to and that's really special,” said Madelyn Maynard, Winnie’s cheer captain.
Winnie can teach us all a thing or two, but especially that no dream is too far out of reach.
"Be an advocate for your child. Be the loud voice,” said Murry.