When many people hear the word cheerleader, they think of the girls on the sidelines of football games, waving poms and yelling for their team. One member of the Celina Bobcat varsity cheer squad, however, puts more emphasis on the word leader. Victoria Baudendistel created the idea of “Tori’s Tween Closet” in August 2012. She wanted a place for orphaned or foster kids in her community to find clothing.
Victoria runs the closet herself and is in charge of collecting and sorting the merchandise. Her family also helps by dealing with the organizational aspects of the closet. These jobs are all done within the Baudendistel household.
It all started with a bright idea and a $1000 grant awarded by Scholastic Inc. Victoria wanted to create a place where orphaned and foster girls could talk, shop and hangout. She wanted them to feel like typical teenage girls. Through Tori’s Tween Closet, Victoria learned firsthand that these girls were just like her and her friends at that age.
Victoria readily accepts clothing and donations from her hometown in Celina, Texas. Her high school and middle school also accepts donations for her. When a donation is received, she shops at local malls to purchase items young teenagers might want or need. One of her favorite moments was when one girl exclaimed, “Oh sissy, I have my own brush now. We don’t have to share anymore!” Moments like these are why she created the closet in the first place.
Victoria is a smart, caring, young woman with a heart for leadership and helping others. She has proven that cheerleaders can lead more than just cheers. Everyone can be a leader, even if the word cheer doesn’t precede it.