Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Acceptance: An Essay by Emily Simino, Age 15, about Her Friend and Teammate, Also Named Emily

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Acceptance: An Essay by Emily Simino, Age 15, about Her Friend and Teammate, Also Named Emily

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Most girls dream of being a cheerleader--inspiring others by promoting the spirit of the school, wearing the illustrious uniform, which clearly identifies one as belonging to something bigger than they are. This is the ultimate desire that so many teenage girls strive for, "acceptance." Many times, this character building experience takes on a different role. Ironically, cheerleaders are thought of as self-absorbed, caddy girls who measure their own value on looks and popularity, constantly judging others harshly as they research each other's "Facebook status." In reality, they are all searching for their own acceptance.

You see, Emily has the ability to soften the hardest of hearts, to recognize the very best in everyone, measuring one's value on the size of one's smile and the sound of their laugh. Despite Emily's own daily challenges with Up Syndrome, she exemplifies what a true cheerleader should strive to be. …

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