UP CLOSE

Up Close: Inclusion Cheer Showcases Kids With Special Needs

Oct 30, 2019, 8:08 PM | Updated: Oct 31, 2019, 11:07 am

HERRIMAN, Utah — A high school teaching assistant is changing young lives after she started a new kind of cheerleading squad showcasing a very special group of kids.

“I always like to say, ‘It’s to show what they can do instead of what they can’t, Chelsea Lopez said about her new “Inclusion Cheer” team made up of about 30 kids with special needs, ranging in age from 6 to 30 years old.

Lopez said some of her fondest memories in high school were cheering on the sidelines. She has since graduated and now is working to assist teachers in special needs classes at Herriman High School.

Over the summer, she said she got the idea to combine her two loves — teaching and cheering.

The team of boys and girls comes with a variety of different abilities. KSL caught up with the squad at its very first football game.

“I have this pull where I just want to say hi to them and I just want to become their friend. And it’s just come from the love of the people and also my love of teaching,” Lopez said.

The team practices once a week and performs at a variety of events.

Inclusion cheer participants during a weekly practice session.

There to help Lopez with the team is 27-year-old Kyleigh Billings. She, too, is a former cheerleader.

“I have always had a passion to give these kids a voice and to help them feel included. I’ve worked with kids with special abilities since I was 10,” Billings said.

Of the 30 kids on the team, 27 are girls and three are boys.

“I love Inclusion Cheer. It gives me a voice,” said one of the kids.

Inclusion Cheer consists of 30 members.

“I just like making lots of new friends,” said another cheerleader.

You can learn more about Inclusion Cheer here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Up Close

(Becky Hansen, Smile Creations Portrait Studio, St. George, Utah)...

Angie Denison

Up Close with Shawn Bradley

Last year, NBA legend Shawn Bradley was hit by a car while riding his bicycle in St. George. The accident left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. In an exclusive visit, KSL returns to the crash site with Shawn and his wife.

1 year ago

(KSL TV)...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: Girls Wrestling Booming In Utah

Once a real shocker in high school sports, girls wrestling has becoming one of the most popular growing sports in the country. That’s why the season may be over but practice continues for many girls.

4 years ago

Albee Bostrom and Sissy McDade turned their love of thrift store shopping into a business: Thrift H...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: Young Entrepreneurs Turn Thrift Store Shopping Into Full-Time Business

A simple hobby of thrift store shopping has turned into a full-time business for a couple of young entrepreneurs in Utah County. They’ve now opened up their very own unique thrift store with a flash to the past. We are talking about the 1980s and 1990s era.

4 years ago

Courtney Kimball and her sister Kym Frey help women living in the slums of San Pedro Sula, Honduras...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: ‘One Common Thread’ Organization Helping Women In Poverty

Two Utah sisters - one now living in one of the most dangerous cities in the world - are helping to bring women out of poverty by teaching them a skill that’s giving them new hope.

4 years ago

A BYU project called the "Rheumatic Relief" project is helping to heal children's hearts and save h...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: BYU Project Tests Samoan Children For Heart Conditions

A BYU project tests Samoan children for heart conditions, helping to heal damaged hearts and save hundreds of lives.

4 years ago

...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: West Jordan Girl Sings Her Way Into National Spotlight

An eight-year-old girl from West Jordan has won an incredible award. She became the Grand Champion Vocalist of the year in the 25th annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, Texas.

4 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Up Close: Inclusion Cheer Showcases Kids With Special Needs