March 15, 2018 - You've heard of girl power and independent young women, but we bet you haven't heard of Maya Livingston and Amalie Zucker. These two Upper Elementary students at Virgin Islands Montessori School and Peter Gruber International Academy decided they wanted to start up a cheerleading after school and made it happen!
After asking their teacher Caroline Morrison for guidance, 10 year old Maya and Amalie took it upon themselves to write a formal proposal for Business Director, Peggy Hunt and find volunteer coaches to get the program started. Determined to start an athletic after school program, both girls presented Hunt with a very detailed and well-written proposal specifying dates, times and practice locations. "I was beyond impressed by these two young ladies. They are the true definition of a Montessori child - independent, risk-taking and determined. The administration fully supports their idea - they've basically already done all the work” says Hunt. Maya and Amalie mentioned that this was their first time writing a proposal and "it required, a lot of changes.... a lot!"
After attending a cheerleading camp over the summer, Amalie told Maya all about how wonderful cheerleading is and how it requires various athletic abilities. "One day we were on the playground and we decided we wanted to do something fun for after school" said Maya.
The girls are thankful to have the help of coach Keri Landry, Lower Elementary Teaching Assistant, as their after school cheerleading coach! Besides being a well-rounded athlete, Landry strives to empower youth and support her local community. "Cheerleading was an activity I was involved with from junior high all through college. In college is where I actually started competing. I also got involved in an all-star team. Both teams traveled around the country to compete. I agreed to help the girls out because being part of an athletic team is important and anything I can do to support growth in the community.. I will do it" says Landry.
Both Maya and Amalie mentioned how impressed they were with their first practice and how much they were able to accomplish. The girls hope that this will make people aware that cheerleading is not just girls with pom-poms and big bows rooting on sports teams, but a highly athletic and physically demanding sport.
Congratulations Maya and Amalie!