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Deaf Cheerleader Gets Wonderful Surprise When Entire Crowd “Sings” Happy Birthday.

deaf cheerleader

When we think about high school, we often think about cliques like bullying and the insecurities that plague many teenagers. Yet at one school in Houston, Texas, students blew those stereotypes right out of the water with one sweet, inclusive gesture.

At a Thursday night football game, students at Milby High School, the entire crowd of fans, students, and parents teamed up to surprise one of their cheerleaders in a beautiful way. It was Camren Jackson’s birthday and her squad was intent on leading the audience in a round of the “Happy Birthday” song.

camren cheer squad

The only stumbling block is that Camren happens to be deaf.


Enter Donielle Ryals-Gonzalez, an ESL teacher and cheer coach at Milby High. When Donielle found out that the cheerleaders wanted to celebrate Camren’s birthday, she didn’t hesitate to roll up her sleeves and do what she does best: teach.


Before the game, Donielle managed to teach the entire crowd how to use American Sign Language to “sing” happy birthday to Camren. When the time came for the crowd to sing, they did not let Donielle down!

Every person in the audience, from the spirit team to the general public, sang and signed the song for an incredibly delighted Camren.


Valkeith Winters, a colleague of Donielle’s, shared the video on Facebook, writing, “One for all and all for one. One of our ASL students had a birthday tonight and the entire audience learned sign language to sign to her. What an Amazing night!!!”

“This was a proud coach moment,” Donielle later wrote. “Look at how she looks at me at the end.”


What a wonderful way to show support and let someone know that they’re loved and accepted! We wish more high schools would make efforts to include those with handicaps and other challenges. This is exactly the sort of action that creates a sense of community that will last far beyond the high school years.

Watch the moment that Camren realizes the crowd is using ASL for her below, and be sure to share these good feelings with others!

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