'Cool Kid' Maira Morales inspires youth

LOS ANGELES "Just because I'm in a wheelchair, doesn't mean I have to give up, be different ... or anything. No, I'm fine, it's just physical, so, life goes on," says Maira.

A victim of gang gunfire at the age of 10, Maira was hit by a stray bullet and left paralyzed from the waist down. In spite of the challenge that presents, she keeps her focus on her students.

"Just helping out the kids. They could learn, I could teach them something in life. And then they can carry that on," says Maira.

Giving a positive spin to what some would see as a negative tragedy, Maira is using her experience to teach now and also in her future career as an educator.

"Giving students a reason to press on, sharing her story ... So that it will give others strength to overcome any obstacles that may be going on in their life as students," says instructor Natalie Harris-Singleton, Teacher Training Magnet.

With any obstacles presented to her, Maira has only one approach.

"I don't really consider myself handicapped -- for me it's either I never give up and I'll always find a way," says Maira.

Rising tall against mindless violence and inspiring young minds for a better tomorrow, she is our "Cool Kid," Maira Morales.


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