Patience Beard had to overcome a pretty big obstacle to become a college cheerleader, but her ability to face the challenge with confidence and determination is what makes her our December Cheerleader of the Month! Born with a disorder that left her with one leg shorter than the other, Patience had her left foot amputated when she was only a few months old, and her first prosthesis at the age of one. Patience took what some may see as a setback and used it as motivation to excel in gymnastics and cheerleading until she was all the way at the top! Literally! Today you can see this determined college freshman cheering on her Razorbacks as a top girl for the University of Arkansas cheer squad. It’s not only her ability to rock a zebra-striped prosthesis that makes Patience stand out on the field; her positive attitude and perseverance are what inspire everyone around her, including us. We’re excited to introduce her to you as our COM!
What made you decided to pursue something as physically challenging as cheerleading?
I have three older siblings, all boys, so my parents didn’t want me to be treated any differently than they treated them. When I was younger, they pushed me to do things like other little kids. I wanted to try out gymnastics and see how it was and I really enjoyed it. So I got to middle school and they had a cheer team and I tried out. I stayed with it all through middle school, all throughout high school and then decided to try out for Arkansas.
Have you formed a good relationship with your teammates and your coach?
Oh, yes! Everyone here has been so welcoming. I’m always worried that coming in, everyone will look at me differently or treat me differently, but that’s not how it was at all; everyone is so uplifting. The coach pushes me just as hard as everyone else and it’s really nice not to have people pity me. I’m treated just as just a normal person on the team; it’s like a big family!
You have quite an inspirational story. Do you have any advice to give other young girls who might be looking to overcome an obstacle to get where they want to be?
Never give up. If you do have something to overcome, don’t look at it like that. See the positive in everything you can do whatever you set your mind to. These are the kinds of things that get me through everyday life. Everyone has obstacles they have to get through everything, you have to be tough and you just have to keep going!