Caddo Schools spokesman Victor Maniero has sent us some information...and asked that we forward it to everyone who might be willing to help. Since our KEEL listeners have always been those sort of people, I've decided to post that here on the website. This is the email that was sent to us:


I am asking your help for this amazing former student of mine, Lakeria Taylor.

Lakeria is a sixteen-year-old student attending Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport. She is totally blind and has always pushed herself with a very rigorus academic schedule. While attending Youree Drive Middle School, she maintained excellent grades in all enriched and advanced placement classes. I also had the privilege to work with her as she served our student body, staff and community as a member of the Student Council. Lakeria comes from very humble means and does not allow that or her disability to hold her back as she continually seeks to inspire and help others.

She is also a Paralympic hopeful and a two time Louisiana Mudbug athlete. She was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma when she was two and became a St Jude's patient. She lost her sight at the age of three, but her life was saved and her real journey began. Then at the age of five she was introduced to GUMBO Games (Games Uniting Mind and Body) this is a track and field competition for the physical and visually impaired athlete. At the age of twelve she was selected as a Louisiana Mudbug. This is an elite group of athletes with either physical or visual disabilities from all over the state of Louisiana that are chosen by a committee representing GUMBO. She has set seven national records. In September of 2011, she was named to the All-American Junior Paralympic team.

She has been busy this spring competing in two regional GUMBO Games, one in Lafayette, La and one in Shreveport, both of which she received all 1st place finishes. She also competed in the Texas Regional Games in San Antonio, Texas, in April, again all golds. She just recently returned from the Endeavor Games which were held in Edmund, Oklahoma, June 8th-June 10th, where she set four personal bests and became eligible to attend the Paralympic trials in Indianapolis, Indiana June 28th-July 1st.

Making the USA Paralympic team has always been a goal of hers; however, she cannot accomplish this alone, she needs OUR help. She is such an inspiration as you will see in the interview attached below. Please take a few minutes to watch and be inspired!!!!

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