A high school student in Las Cruces is breaking barriers and proving that there is no such thing as stereotypes every day.
Haley Parra is a junior at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces. Haley is a third-year cheerleader at Mayfield, two of which have been spent on the varsity team.
“It’s good to be a cheerleader and have friends,” Haley tells KTSM.
While Haley and the squad show their school spirit and pump up the crowds at games, Haley is constantly inspiring her fellow-cheerleaders.
Never a setback
Haley was born with down syndrome. Something that Haley’s parents, Monica and Jesse Parra, say was not expected but also something they never looked at as a setback for Haley.
“We pushed her to do things we told her she was gonna do things because she has down syndrome not that she wasn’t because she has down,” Monica Parra said.
Just as she was taught, Haley did not hesitate to be outgoing. In seventh grade, Haley came asked her parents if she could try out for the Vista Middle School cheer team.
“I was hesitant, dad’s the one who said ‘let’s give her a try, let’s let her do it,'” Monica said.
Jesse says he knew allowing Haley to be in cheer was the right thing to do since he had always wanted her to be on some type of team.
The wish turned into reality when Haley made the Vista Middle School cheer team. And that was just the beginning. Haley was hooked and knew that day she wanted to keep cheering when she got into high school.
Power of positivity
Haley made the Mayfield High School JV team her freshmen year. And has now been on the varsity team as a junior.
“She always gives us so much love and spirit,” Michayla Contreras, a teammate of Haley’s, tells KTSM.
Haley acts as an inspiration to all of her teammates and coaches.
“She finds joy in everything that she does. She’s the first one to smile at everything that she’s doing. She’s just taught me how to look on the brighter side of things,” Jasmine Garcia, Mayfield Cheer Team’s head coach, tells KTSM.
Haley is on track to be a four-year cheerleader at Mayfield, as she plans to try out again her senior year. As of right now, Haley has not decided if she will continue to cheer after high school.
Interview with Haley
If you would like to ask Haley a question, you can submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ask them to her during a special Facebook Live later this week.