Sixth-through eighth-grade students received a visit from Alyssia Crook, Bronze medal winner from the U.S. Paralympics Swim Team.
Crook had a dream of getting a black cap with her name under the flag after she lost her leg in eighth grade. Recently, Crook traveled and competed in the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games and won a Bronze medal, and achieved her dream of earning a black swim cap.
She was born with a rare congenital disorder, and after undergoing several painful treatments to try to save the leg, she decided in 2011 to have it amputated below the knee. At the assembly, she delivered a powerful message to the middle school students to chase after their dreams and that they can do anything they put their mind to.
“The students at Vanguard really enjoyed meeting Alyssia and were intrigued by her story,” said Jenna Crook, seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at Vanguard Charter Academy, and family member to Alyssia. “There were students who were swimmers and/or athletes like her and felt that they could relate in some way.”
Alyssia mentioned how people with disabilities are just normal people, so it is important to learn their story before judging or staring.
“Her message to Vanguard students focused on chasing after your dreams and that you can do anything you put your mind to,” said Jenna Crook.