Deaf Student Becomes Viewette - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/01/02- Longview

Deaf Student Becomes Viewette

   Her world is one without the sounds of voices and music.

   But a sixteen year old Longview girl has never let that stop her.

   Crystal, once a cheerleader in junior high, is now the Longview Lobo's first hearing impaired Viewette.

   Crystal Thomas was born without the ability to hear.

   She spent her childhood doing things others may have thought impossible like playing soccer, basketball and even cheerleading.

   "Believe in yourself and know what you wanna do. It doesn't matter that you can't hear you can do it," says Crystal.

   One day a teacher, knowing Crystal's love for dancing, encouraged her to try out for the drill team.

   Unsuccessful her first time, Crystal didn't give up,"I got that from my deaf educators and my family who told me that you've got to keep going you can't stop."

   Her persistence paid off.

   Now as Longview's first ever hearing impaired drill team member, Crystal says there is a trick to learning her routines,"Well when the music starts I don't follow the music. The teacher does the counts so I watch and then I know from the counts that I need to start moving. And I count the same time in my head and then I've learned the movements. When I learn the movements and practice then I've learned the counts. "

   Crystal says she continues to dream big.

   She plans to one day go to college in New York.

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