Spirit for Social Work

January 14, 2015  |  Life Beyond Cheer  |  No Comments

On top of her rigorous cheer schedule, Caitlin applies that same spirit and dedication to her coursework. She says she knew since middle school that she wanted to be in a “helping profession,” and the social work classes at Rutgers made her certain of that decision. Caitlin has reached the national level in that area as well – she was recently inducted into the Rutgers chapter of Phi Alpha Honor Society, a national honor society for social work students.

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Sharing Holiday Cheer

December 11, 2014  |  Life Beyond Cheer  |  No Comments

The holiday season is upon us! This time of year is always so exciting with parties, gift giving and festivities. It’s easy to get caught up in the fun and forget about how you can impact the lives of others. The University of Mississippi and the University of West Alabama, however, have found inspiring ways to give back in the midst of all the excitement.

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Bright Smile, Bright Inspiration

December 3, 2014  |  Life Beyond Cheer  |  No Comments

Thirteen-year-old Chelsey Morales has a smile that lights up everything around her – a useful tool for a cheerleader. That smile, and Chelsey’s determined spirit, inspire all those around her, including her teammates and fans of the Groesbeck Goats football team.

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Who’s Got Your Back? Lessons from My Appearance on Dr. Oz

November 20, 2014  |  On the Stage  |  3 Comments

Last week, I was given an unexpected and incredible opportunity. A producer from the Dr. Oz show called to tell me that they were interested in featuring The Sparkle Effect in an upcoming episode. I responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!” But then, I began to wonder why a talk show that focuses on health and medical issues wanted to profile a non-profit organization focused on creating cheerleading teams that include students with disabilities.

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Find Your Voice

November 7, 2014  |  Life Beyond Cheer  |  No Comments

As cheerleaders, we use our voices to lead the crowd, to add spirit at sporting events and to cheer our schools to victory. Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you couldn't use your voice? Constance Weems, who is 16, has never spoken a day in her life—until now.

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Spreading Cheer to All

November 4, 2014  |  On the Stage  |  1 Comment

As cheerleaders, we are used to cheering for football, basketball, pep rallies and other various school-related activities. But Albertville High School has stepped beyond supporting just their school’s teams. Every year, the cheerleaders volunteer to cheer on another group of athletes in the Special Olympics.

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Cheer Expands Their World

October 29, 2014  |  Life Beyond Cheer  |  No Comments

You might expect a conversation at cheer practice to revolve around things like hurdlers, liberties and back tucks. But members of the Park City squad are discussing a whole lot more than cheer skills. At a recent practice, they spoke about electric cars and other current events, according to a article in the Herald-Review of Decatur, IL.

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Cheers & Charity Run in the Family

October 23, 2014  |  Cheers for Charity  |  No Comments

For some families, the love of cheerleading is passed down over several generations. As the perfect way to meet others and reach out into the community, it’s no wonder that cheerleading runs in the family! For Francie Harris, a member of the Auburn cheer team, she takes her traditional love of encouraging and serving others to the next level.

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Team Savannah

October 9, 2014  |  Life Beyond Cheer  |  No Comments

“Stay strong and cheer on!” That’s the motto of Savannah Wright, cheerleader from Jackson County High School and Power Athletics. Two years ago, her competitive cheerleading career was cut short due to a knee injury; however, it was that same knee injury that would save her life.

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Pride Squad

October 1, 2014  |  On the Stage  |  No Comments

Many girls want to try out for cheerleading when they are young. For some, that goal isn't always obtainable. One coach made this dream a reality by combining her passions for cheerleading and working with special needs children.

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