Zeeland Public School in Michigan students showed their unwavering support to their fellow schoolmate, Julia Hoogland, as she took a free shot on the basketball court. Blind yet perseverant Julia Hoogland is part of the school’s links program for peer-to-peer. The enthusiastic students remained silent to help Julia hear the taps for a perfect shot.
The court, packed with almost 2500 spectators, remained silent as Julia took her shot. But the silence lasted only a few seconds as Julia took her shot and sunk it. The fans cheered as she did so, and her mother, Karen, expressed her joy. The love and support of her classmates portrayed the enthusiasm they had to see the 17-year-old perform made the day for this proud mother.
When Julia took her shot, she exclaimed that she did not think that she would make it. Her goal is to raise awareness about the positive aspects of people who are blind. Julia, who has set records for what blind people can do, also hopes that the film will inspire others to overcome their obstacles. She adds that the film’s goal is to show people the many things people with disabilities can do.
According to Dr. Brandi-Lyn Mendham, the school system superintendent, the Zeeland Public School’s participation in Special Olympics Unified sports is a source of pride for the school community.
The teacher in charge at ZLinks, Nate VandeGutche, added that Juliana put in years of effort to achieve a perfect shot. The elated teacher is overwhelmed to witness Julia make the shot in front of more than 2,500 people. Moreover, the teacher stated that they were giddy with anticipation for her and her family and it was a perfect way to close the day. Finally, he wrapped up stating that it was a fantastic day for all of them.