Eighteen-year-old Nahdia Perez was half her expected weight at birth and her spine had an opening. Her mother Melissa received the news, Nahdai had spina bifida.
Throughout her childhood, Nahdia endured many surgeries and could not walk. She persevered and continued her studies, recently graduating from Boynton Beach High in Boynton Beach, FL. Now she says she can pursue her childhood dreams of going to cosmetology school.
Nahdia plans on attending Palm Beach State College in Florida with the help of the $1,000 Danny Hall Memorial Scholarship that she was awarded. The scholarship was founded in 2009 in honor of Danny Hall who suffered with Becker’s Syndrome Muscular Dystrophy which he battled for 33 years. He spent many of those years in a wheelchair. The scholarship is set up to help those with physical challenges.
Nahdia relies on a wheelchair since she is unable to walk, though she is able to get in and out on her own. She also has a tube inserted that drains fluid from her brain into her stomach. And though it’s been five years since her last surgery, she knows there will most likely be more in the future.
In the meantime she watches YouTube videos of hair and makeup procedures and waits for cosmetology school to begin. YouTube is what sparked her interest and love of cosmetology. She enjoys watching the videos and learning tips on how to do hair and makeup. She then enjoys practicing her new skills on herself and anyone else that will allow her. She even hopes to make her own YouTube videos one day.
Nahdia’s parents are extremely proud of how hard their daughter has worked to pursue her dream and overcome her handicap despite all of the hardships she has had to deal with. “We didn’t know what to expect,” said her mother Melissa. “Almost 19 years later and she’s doing well,” she concluded