Local middle school cheerleader rewarded for cheering alone

By: Lanetra Bennett
February 28, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Eighth grader, Tianiyah Hall-Scales, was showered with gifts at Nims Middle School Tuesday.

She performed in a cheerleading competition all by herself a few weeks ago. Her cheerleading coach says the other squad members dropped out at the last minute, but Tianiyah decided to go forth alone anyway.

Tianiyah said, "Because I already had people coming and I didn't want to disappoint them. I wasn't going to quit just because the other kids didn't show up. I was nervous, but it was fun."

Tallahassee resident Jasmine Richardson-Sutton was inspired by Tianiyah's bravery. So, she gathered DJ Speedracer from 102.3 FM and other community members to show how proud they are. More than a dozen people surprised Tianiyah at school. A few of Tianiyah's idols, FAMU cheerleaders, were also there.

Tianiyah received jewelry, T-shirts, a jacket, gift cards, and much more.

Richardson-Sutton said, "I decided to do this because her story resonated with me. It just touched my soul. I was just very proud of her. Her being so young and doing something so positive, we have to go big for her. So, I wanted to do this because she deserved it. I want her to understand that she's not alone, even though she was alone out there on that stage. It's a whole community rallying behind her."

Principal Desmond Cole said, "As her principal, it couldn't have happened to a nicer student in this school. She's an amazing young lady, always doing the right thing, even when no one's watching. I'm so proud of her."

Richardson-Sutton says the group also plans to do something special for Tianiyah for her 8th grade prom in May.

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