Haley Parra, a cheerleader for the Mayfield Trojans, was recently featured on KTSM 9 News. Haley was born with Down syndrome, but her parents have always encouraged her to pursue her dreams and not allow her condition to be an obstacle. [Photo: Courtesy KTSM 9 News]
Haley Parra, a cheerleader for the Mayfield Trojans, was recently featured on KTSM 9 News. Haley was born with Down syndrome, but her parents have always encouraged her to pursue her dreams and not allow her condition to be an obstacle. [Photo: Courtesy KTSM 9 News]

A student at Mayfield High School is making news, breaking barriers, and proving that there is no such thing as stereotypes. Haley Parra, a junior at Mayfield, is a third-year cheerleader. For two years, she has been a member of the varsity cheer team.

“It’s good to be a cheerleader and have friends,” Haley recently told KTSM 9 News reporter Jessica Nevarez.

While Haley and the squad show their school spirit and pump up the crowds at games, Haley is constantly inspiring her fellow-cheerleaders.

Never a setback

Haley was born with Down syndrome — something that Haley’s parents, Monica and Jesse Parra, say was not expected, but also something they never saw as a setback for Haley.

“We pushed her to do things.,” Haley’s mother, Monica, told KTSM 9 News. “We told her she was gonna do things because she has Down syndrome, not that she wasn’t because she has Down.”

Just as she was taught, Haley did not hesitate to be outgoing. In seventh grade, Haley asked her parents if she could try out for the Vista Middle School cheer team.

“Haley is a welcomed member of the Mayfield Cheer team,” said Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Greg Ewing. “Clearly,

Haley Parra, a cheerleader for the Mayfield Trojans, was recently featured on KTSM 9 News. [Photo: Courtesy KTSM 9 News]

“I was hesitant,” Monica said. “[Her] dad’s the one who said ‘let’s give her a try, let’s let her do it.'”

Jesse says he knew that allowing Haley to be in cheer was the right thing to do, since he had always wanted her to experience being on some type of team.

That wish turned into reality when Haley made the Vista Middle School cheer team. And that was just the beginning; Haley was hooked. She knew that day that she wanted to keep cheering when she got into high school.

Read more from the KTSM 9 News report HERE. If you would like to ask Haley a question, you can submit them to reporter Jessica Nevarez at jnevarez@ktsm.com, who will ask them to her during a special Facebook Live on the station’s Facebook page next week. 

— Damien Willis, LCPS Director of Communications, 575-527-5811, dwillis@lcps.net