Behind The Ten Pound Uniform
May 18, 2018
Watching his school spirit from the bleachers, you’d never know the kid behind the ten-pound uniform was Chris March.
In the hallways March is known as the happiest kid in school, always waving with a flashy smile on his face. Giving high fives as he walks from class to class all of his classmates accept March for who he is, despite his disability.
“Chris is an extremely helpful young man. He never meets a stranger,” teacher Robin Kramer said. “He enjoys new things and he is eager to try them.”
The fall of 2016 brought March a new opportunity when Monrovia Middle was on the hunt for someone to fill the shoes of their hawk mascot. As the search began, cheerleading coaches Amanda Jackson and Kellye Cuzzort knew not just anyone could do the job, it had to be someone like March.
“No one can put a smile on your face quite like Chris can,” Jackson said. “From the moment he tried on the uniform I knew we found the perfect fit.”
Knowing high school was just around the corner March and his parents agreed to allow him to put his school spirit on full display. In hopes of new experiences and new friends, March zipped up the uniform and hit the field.
“I wanted to make new friends before high school,” March said. “Plus I like to cheer and dance.”
From August to October, March attended practices to learn the same cheers and dances the student body knew and loved. He practiced running the MMS flag across the end zones and even being the center of attention during halftime shows.
“Watching Chris run back and forth with that big flag and then seeing his face when the team scored a touchdown made it all worthwhile,” Cuzzort said. “People like Chris don’t come along every day.”
With his disability, as a younger individual, March struggles with some social settings and expectations. His time as mascot opened new doors and acclimated him to situations he may not see every day. March faced these situations and made the best of it.
“Being the school mascot has helped him to grow socially,” Kramer said. “He is not as intimidated by social settings and expectations.”
March’s participation in School and the community extend far beyond just mascot. He works in the West Wing Cafe every Friday as well as represented Monrovia at the Special Olympics at a State level. With his parents support, March never fails to amaze those around him with his kind and loving spirit.
“Chris is the young man he is today because of the perseverance of his parents,” Kramer said. “They do not believe in giving up. They only push forward.”