Cadence, a 7th grader at Cunningham, stands out. Not only for her gentle spirit and beautiful smile, but she has a can-do attitude and is a natural leader. All of these attributes were apparent yesterday when she received multiple awards at Cunningham's bi-annual recognition ceremony that celebrates the successes of our kids in their school and special therapy activities.
Even with her natural qualities, Cadence has had to learn the importance of making good choices. She came to Cunningham's Residential Treatment Center earlier this year because of behaviors that got her in trouble with the law. Her guardian and closest ally for many years had passed away. She was placed with a family member and it proved to be a stressful environment. Underneath, she was hurting. Without the guidance of her guardian, she turned to unhealthy activities.
At the Awards ceremony, Cadence received awards for sports activities, grades, and art but the one that stood out was the Responsibility Award. Gerber School staff recognized Cadence because she is a leader at school and demonstrates a positive attitude. She always has a smile on her face, takes responsibility for herself and is willing to help out her peers. According to her teachers she is simply a pleasure to have as a student.
It was amazing to see her shine as she walked toward the podium to receive the award. Cadence may have been affected by circumstances beyond her control, but she is taking what she's learned at Cunningham to create a beautiful future. Hope begins here.
*All stories are real, however names are changed and photos selected to protect the privacy of our youth.