High School Senior Gives Up Playing in Marching Band to Serve as Blind Classmate’s ‘Eyes’

High School Senior Gives Up Playing in Marching Band to Serve as Blind Classmate’s ‘Eyes’

I thought this was a very sweet, uplifting story.

High School Senior Gives Up Playing in Marching Band to Serve as Blind Classmate’s ‘Eyes’  

by Katie Kindelan

When the Laingsburg High School marching band performs on their Michigan school’s football field, one band member marches without an instrument.

Rachael Steffens, 17, gave up playing clarinet in the band for her senior year to help bandmate Autumn Michels, who is visually impaired.

“I was excited to do it,” Rachael told ABC News, adding how much she enjoys having Autumn in the band. “She’s always making jokes, and it makes band a lot more fun.”

Autumn was 4 years old when, after a diagnosis of a brain tumor led to chemotherapy and multiple surgeries, she lost vision completely in both eyes.

She found an outlet in music, learning to play the clarinet by memorizing the musical notes in songs.

“Our comment to her has always been, ‘No matter your disability, there is nothing that’s going to stop you,’” said Autumn’s mom, Angela Michels. “She’s definitely a go-getter.”

When Autumn, now 14, decided she wanted to play in her high school marching band, band director Thomas Cousineau searched for a solution.

“It was a little bit of the unknown,” he said. “We do so many [marching] formations, and the speed of the music is so fast at times.”

Cousineau and Autumn’s parents agreed a fellow student should be by her side on the field to help guide her.

Rachael volunteered to help Autumn at a band camp over the summer, and when the fall band season began, she stepped up again.

….Rachael stands by Autumn’s side at all times to keep her both safe and in formation, while also making sure other band members around her are in the right spots.

( read the rest of the story )

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News Anchor Melissa Francis: From Failure to Success

Why the Fear of Rejection Overrides One’s Ability to Ask for What They Want or Need

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Become More Resilient by Learning to Take Joy Seriously by Brad Stulberg

Why the Best Success Stories Often Begin With Failureby Amy Crawford

Entertainers Cher and Goldie Hawn Admit to Struggles with Insecurity or Anxiety


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