It’s a typical Friday night in Clarkston, Michigan. High school football is in season and the players take the field. The crowd is electric and supported by fellow peers with team spirit. Band members play fight songs, a mascot jumps, and cheerleaders chant Gold and Blue.
Kenzie Zacharias is one of those cheerleaders, with her pink pompoms and a big smile to go along with it. She was born with Down Syndrome 16 years ago, but that doesn’t stop her from anything.
In an interview with WJBT, her mother said “The day she was born, we didn’t know she had Down syndrome. I said to Joe, I kind of went into mourning for 24 hours only. And I was so scared of how people were going to accept her. This is just the epitome of every mother’s dream to have this happen for her and I hope it happens to other special needs children because she is capable.”
It all started when Kenzie was helping her dad manage the water for the football team. A cheerleader encouraged her and brought her into the squad.
“They all love her. They’re so excited to see her stunt and cheer,” said a fellow cheerleader.
Kenzie performs all of the moves except for some of the bigger physical stunts. She truly loves being on the sidelines and one of the cheerleaders, varsity jacket and all.
“She cheers for everybody and everybody’s cheering for her.” Says her proud dad. “We get parents coming up to us [saying] we really like watching your daughter.” He explains. “It’s really neat!”