Azle senior inspires classmates and faculty to see beyond disabilities




Posted on October 18, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 19 at 12:12 AM

AZLE -- In the hallways of Azle High School, there's a senior that brings out the best in students.

"I love her," said senior Bobbi Jo Sisk. "She's like my best friend. She is so awesome. She has a great personality."

The student is Alejandrina Guzman. The 17 year old zooms in her wheelchair from class to class with ease. She was born with several disabilities, including a cleft palate, club feet, and dwarfism.

"When you look at her, there is something different there, but in the end, there is nothing different," said Azle High School Principal Sam Robinson. "She is like everybody else, if not exceptionally higher than them, because of her personality, her wit and the way she does in school -- her academic achievements."

Alejandrina is an honors student, elementary school mentor and a "rowdy" spirit squad member. She's now in the running for homecoming queen.

"To me, it's a surprise, because it just shows how much Azle High School thinks of others," Alejandrina said. "It shows the ability to look past the outside, and how the inside really matters."

Her principal and classmates see beyond her disabilities. They see courage.

"She has taught me that there are no limitations, that anything can be done by anyone," Robinson said. "Nothing stops Allie. So why should anything stop me?"

In Azle and on the internet, Alejandrina is taking her message to the masses. She has posted inspirational videos sprinkled with wit and wisdom, and her Twitter feed is full of positive messages.

She's helping people find beauty in life's obstacles.

"I just wanted to speak out and send a message to others that they can do it," the senior said. "They are here for a reason."

Alejandrina mentioned that she gets her strength to take on challenges from her mother, father, other family members, and friends.

Currently, she isn't video blogging, because she's focused on her next challenge: college. University of Texas in Austin is her first choice.

She worries about going away to school without her loyal team of family and friends, but she's staying positive.

"I see my future is bright, just as long as I keep trying and never give up," she said.

So homecoming queen or not, Alejandrina knows she has already scored a victory.

"It makes me feel good, because I know I have done something besides having a disability," she said. "I know that I have shown my inner, my true self instead of the wheelchair and me."

The homecoming results will be announced a week from Friday.