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Blind Teen Joins Cheerleading Squad

By: CNN
By: CNN

She's got the rhythm and the moves to keep game fans excited...

Reporter Ayana Harry introduces us to a blind Connecticut teen who is breaking barriers by "bustin" moves on the court.

Brianna Rigsby seems to have it all, school spirit, team pride and cheers galore, the one thing she doesn't have is sight, but that's never stopped this teenager from following her dreams.

From birth there was just something different about Brianna

Brianna was born in new haven fifteen years ago without eyes but that doesn`t slow Brianna down.

People say I'm - I think I'm special too -- but I don't like to brag.

And now Brianna is navigating freshman year through the halls of one of New Haven`s biggest schools - Wilbur cross.

It was a little nerve racking because the first day. Nobody talked to me. I didn't talk to anybody.

But that silence didn`t last for long. It`s just not Brianna’s style.

I heard you're pretty popular in school.

Yeah, everybody knows me. Most people that say hi to me, I don't even know them - honestly.

And pretty soon she was involved in one of the most popular sports.

I just dreamt about always being a cheerleader.

Although she cannot see the game she cheers on - Brianna uses her sense of touch and keen listening skills to learn the routine. The same strategy she uses to earn straight A's in the classroom.

I have to give some of that credit most of that credit to Ms. Louise because she's always pushing me.

She's a highly determined young lady. We have worked together and actually we have learned things together which has been really a great journey for both she and I.

Louise Jastremski is Brianna’s vision tutor and helps her complete classwork in braile.

I could be working two hours solid with her and she doesn't complain. She is determined, she wants to do well.

For Brianna, happiness and success is a formula.

It adds school support, a bright spirit and strong family.

No is never in our vocabulary its whatever you set your mind and your heart to do...you just go ahead and do it.

And it was precisely that attitude Brianna used to approach her next life challenge - the track team.

With small adjustments - Brianna is learning how to run on the track. She`s even competing at meets in the long jump.

Bet you and some of the players are learning a lot from Brianna.

Yes absolutely. She's actually got quite a witty sense of humor which is very refreshing to have and I’ve also seen her encourage the girls to be very very helpful.

And this is just freshman year. Lesson learned. How to see the world through Brianna’s eyes.

Its not letting anyone put parameters in your life and telling you what you can and cannot do.

I believe that love is the key and it will help you navigate life.


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