All-star cheerleader Caitlin Harshberger's routine photo shoot with photographer Mallory Neil ended with a nomination to be in the nationally produced Inspiring Teens Magazine. She was nominated by Neil and then voted on by the public.
The money that was raised through the voting process was deposited into a fund, which was put into a scholarship for the two winners, which included The Inspiring Teen Style Winner, which she won this year. The scholarship will go towards college.
According to their website, Inspiring Teens is a "by teens for teens" organization that is overseen by adults. They focus on leadership and volunteering. The Inspire Team is a team of teens from around the world. The magazine is run by The Inspire Team.
In addition to attending Altoona Area High School, Caitlin is an all-star Cheerleader at Xtreme Allstars and coaches three teams (Tiny Novice Tanks, Tiny Level 1 Troopers and Mini Level 1 Majors) that are younger than her. She also competes on two teams, the Senior Level 3 Lady Legends and Senior Level 5-Lady X.
The thing that she loves the most about cheer is the passion that grows in you throughout the years. She says that cheer has taught her many life lessons and has shown her how to cope with things in real life. The friendships that she has made along the way are the people who she knows will stick by her on her best and worst days. She also loves seeing the younger athletes grow into the athlete that she is today.
Her passion for cheer has impacted her life by teaching her to never give up on herself because hard work always pays off in the end. "Anytime that I have spare time, it is most likely used for mat time and I would not trade it for the world."
Her dream has always been to be on the best team possible. She is on a level five team for the 2020-21 season. She has won twelve national titles in the 2019-20 season as well as both at large bids and paid bids to the D2 Summit, grand national championships, specialty awards, leaderboard ranking for the D2 Summit and was personally awarded athlete of the month and best role model. One of her favorite moments so far was walking on to the D2 Summit floor for the first time in 2017......
....To read the complete article, check out a future They Came From Blair County book release...
***Details for this article were acquired through a phone interview with Caitlin Harshberger and her mother Mindy Despot
***Photos for this article:
1. The top two photos were taken and copywritten by Mallory Neil.
2. The bottom two photos were provided by Caitlin Harshberger and her mom Mindy Despot.