LINCOLN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - "It was awesome!"
Those words from Sydnie Tate about Homecoming week at West Lincoln High School in Vale. The 15-year-old was elected Freshman Representative to the Homecoming court.
"We were so amazed at how quickly she made friends at her new high school. She was just embraced by the kids at West Lincoln. They're really awesome young men and women," Sydnie's mom, Angie told me.
Sydnie has Down syndrome, but that has never held this young lady back. Never!
The West Lincoln Rebels Homecoming Week includes, 'character day, then they held the parade through town. Sydnie, her mom, dad Darin, and little sister Saylor road in a convertible down the streets toward Cat Square, (same route as what's called "Best Little Christmas Parade in the Country).
Although the crowds weren't quite as big as they are for the Christmas Parade, throngs of people lined the route. "The girls threw out candy to
the people along the way and they loved it," Angie said.
Friday morning they had the "Tractor Parade" around the school's football field. Some of the students even drive their tractors to school from home. Sydnie road in the tractor with Jayden Drewery, who nominated her to homecoming court, along with Robbie Hallman.
They were so excited, and especially happy the weather cooperated. "After weeks of rainy Friday's it was such a blessing to have a sunny beautiful day for our Homecoming," Angie said.
But perhaps the highlight of the week was the talent show and the reaction from the crowd! Sydnie sang, 'The Climb' by Miley Cyrus. As she got to the
end the crowd went wild!
RAW VIDEO: Click here to watch Sydnie sing "The Climb"
They instantly started chanting, "Sydnie! Sydnie! Sydnie!"
Her mom told me she thought the song was an appropriate choice.
"If you consider the words, 'it doesn't matter how fast I get there, doesn't matter what's on the other side. It's the climb!' The song also includes this refrain, 'The struggles I'm facing, the chances I'm taking, sometimes might knock me down. But no, I'm not breaking!' Sydnie's mom told me, "I thought it was a perfect reflection of Sydnie's life."
Sydnie's family has never let her Down syndrome limit what is possible for her.
"Yes, she might take a little longer, she might get there a little later, but she's taking this journey and we just love that she's our tour guide. We are so grateful God gave us this child, who has become such a witness to so many, that all lives have value," Angie said.
Sydnie then dressed for the big Homecoming game. When her name was called, she walked across the field looking beautiful, arm-in-arm with her father.
As they walked, announcer Butch Ross read a description of Sydnie, which read in part said, "She's not about to let an extra chromosome keep her from reaching her dreams!" At that point the crowd leapt to their feet and gave the Freshman Representative, a standing ovation.
Darin told me, "That was one of the proudest moments of my life as a dad! It was just amazing!"
The entire week Sydnie was smiles ear-to-ear! And so has the community around her. They've shown all of us, and reaffirmed for Sydnie's family, that she is perfect exactly as she is. And she's an important part of life at West Lincoln High School.
As her mom told me, "This is just the beginning. She has four years to continue to allow God to do great things through her during her high school years!"
Congrats Sydnie, having known you for several years, this was a well-deserved honor! We're all so proud!