By Megan Quinn, Arvada Press
September 21, 2011 | 02:01 PM
Kesley Levad always wanted to be a cheerleader. With the help of her friends, Wildcat Sparkles was born.
Arvada West High School always had a traditional cheer and pom team, but Levad uses a motorized wheelchair to get around and has trouble moving or speaking quickly.
Levad's friends, John Braselton and Alex Merkins, set out to do some research. They came across the Sparkle Effect, a nationwide, student-run organization that enables schools to create spirit squads that include students with disabilities. Disabled students, called Sparkles, cheer alongside peer coaches from their school.
"We wanted to make it more fair for people, so we started this," said Merkins, a member of the school's spirit squad. "It's an amazing feeling to see that everyone is doing the same routine as everyone else."
Levad said the team is the ri...
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