At a school where their motto glows on the basketball court, the Naperville North Adaptive Cheerleaders are constantly reminded to embody it: “Let a Huskie Lead the Way.”
Senior cheerleading captain Bridget Hartmen talks about how the team channels that motto, “I feel like we all are, as a team, but specifically those that volunteer to do the adaptive program.”
Hartman helps run the Adaptive Cheerleading program at North which invites 5 to 10 kids to join the cheerleading squad throughout the season, to practice and cheer at games. She says, “And they come to the practices, we do once a week practices and they can cheer with us at the games. we taught them all the sideline cheers with took a long time because there is a bunch and then recently we taught them the halftime routines too.”
Kristen Dorsey, who is also a manager of the swimming and diving team, loves being a part of the program, “I love it, the practices, the girls. I just love it so much.”
Just like Dorsey, Hartman got involved her freshman year and wants to continue helping children with special needs once she leaves North as well, “I’m doing biomedical engineering, I wanna design prosthetics with kids with disabilities so that they can experience the same things that others experience.”
Keeping everyone involved seems to be Hartman’s own personal motto, which goes along with the schools theme, “I think it’s great for them because it’s such a safe environment thats hard to find in high school today but we are all so inviting and its really like a place that everyone can try their best. It’s a great environment for both of us. And honestly, I think that they are leading us, too.”
And while the motto glows intensely on the hardwood, nothing brightens the gym like the smiles and chants of the entire Naperville North Cheerleading team.
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