It’s been a huge year for girls with Down syndrome. From model Madeline Stuart, the first model with Down syndrome to walk the New York Fashion Week runway to Cora Slocum, the pre-schooler who became the face of an important back-to-school campaign, it’s been a year in which kids with Down syndrome are shifting perceptions by showing the world the extraordinary things they are accomplishing.
Today, we’re celebrating Port Isabel, TX resident Monica Gonzalez, a high schooler, A+ dancer, and teenager living with Down syndrome, who recently became a viral sensation when a video of her performing with her fellow cheerleaders at a high school football game took the internet by storm.
Monica’s older sister was a cheerleader, and so when Monica entered high school, she decided to follow in her sibling’s footsteps and audition to join her big sis on the squad. Monica proceeded to blow the selection committee away.
“She knew the cheers, and she knew the moves, so it just kind of came natural to her,” her mother Magdalena Gonzalez told KGBT-TV.
Monica’s been dancing since an early age, so the fact that she made it on the varsity cheer squad surprised neither of her parents.
“She has that personality. She’s truly on the spot type of ham. She’s just a perfect girl for the cheering,” Monica’s father, Rolando Gonzalez explained to KGBT-TV.
And yes, big sister Brisia Gonzalez is thrilled to have Monica on the team.
“She lifts everybody’s spirits. They can’t stay mad at her. When they’re in a bad mood she comes up there and everyone smiles. She lifts everyone up,” Brisia told KGBT-TV.
Magdalena hopes that her daughter kicking butt and taking names as a cheerleader will send an important message about children who are born differently-abled.
“When you have a child with disabilities, a lot of people think it’s devastating news. Instead of thinking, ‘well it’s just another child,’ and if you treat them the same way and you have the same expectations, then there are no limits,” Magdalena Gonzalez said.
All right, let’s see Monica’s moves, it’s video time!
Image via YouTube