Student turns disability into lesson for those around her

Williamson County

CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — It started out with Ellie Freeman just helping out a teacher one morning.

The Cedar Park High School student now goes to Faubion Elementary every morning to help.  She waits as the Pre-k students get off the bus, lines them up and then gets them to their classrooms. 

“They are so cute! They cheer every morning when they see her, ‘Ellie is here,'”  said mom Liz Freeman. 

Ellie was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

“She was born a typically developing kid and got sick with a terrible illness when she was 23-months-old and had a stroke that resulted in just physical challenges and a pretty significant physical disability,” said mom Liz.

She’ll be 15-years-old soon and comfortably navigates her way through the halls with her wheelchair.

Ellie communicates with her bright smile and through her computer.  “I love it when all the little kids smile when they see me,” said Ellie. “I hope they are learning that someone who moves differently can still be a role model.”

Ellie wants to be a teacher just like her mom. Her mom says she recently wrote a powerful college essay explaining why she loves to help. It has since been shared across the district.   

“I love that Ellie is showing these sweet little three and 4-year-old’s that differences don’t matter,” explained Liz. “You can be in a school and participate and learn all of that stuff from anyone around you in the world.”

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