AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Witnessing someone rise to the occasion and courageously prevail over difficult circumstances can be inspirational to us all.
This week, we are recognizing the bravery and poise demonstrated by a local young lady as she faced adversity.
Like many teen aged students, Avery Killough is just a joy to have in school.
Austin Middle School Principal Brandy Self told NewsChannel 10, when she thinks of Avery, she thinks of a very gracious, positive and hard working young lady.
While much of Avery’s life would be considered very normal, there is one aspect that is certainly not.
In a YouTube video, Avery Killough describes her recent journey as she was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, causing her to have involuntary muscle movements and tics and to utter unintentional sounds.
She explained it is difficult at her age, and she is very concerned about what others will think and say about her.
As you might expect at middle school, it was only a matter of time before an incident arose.
Her mother, Paula Killough-Bryan described the situation and said some boys were teasing, and mimicking Avery, and as a mother, she really wanted to step in to diffuse the situation. Avery wanted to handle it in her own way very courageously.
Avery explained, it all started with a group of boys laughing and making jokes.
Many kids at that age would have tried to ignore the situation, internalize it, and just try to move on, but not Avery.
Avery’s mother said she had to put her ‘mom’ hat away to let the school and Avery handle it.
Her principal had talked to the boys but was surprised that Avery wanted to confront them herself – a response that is unusual at this age.
Avery wanted to teach the guys about her Tourette’s condition. She wanted to explain to them, it is not something she can control, and they should not be making fun of her.
Avery told us it was extremely difficult for her to confront them but well worth mustering the courage.
She shared, overall, the boys were sincere, apologetic and felt bad for their behavior.
The brave act not only resolved the issue but left a powerful impact on others.
Paula is extremely proud of her daughter and bold and brave choice of confronting and moving past the bullying.
Principal Self was so impressed, the school created a new award, the Heart of Avery Award, to honor Avery and her choice of rising above adversity. The award will be given to a student every year that models those same characteristics, and Avery herself will return to present the award every year.
Avery says what she wants people to take away from her story is she wants people to overlook the flaws in others. Be kind to everyone, and make a positive difference to those around us.
Talk about a great demonstration of courage, how to properly handle a situation, and give others hope in the process– now that’s some good news!