Warrior Project builds confidence, inspires students

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) — Terrel Williams is a warrior, fighting battles both seen and unseen.

"I had just gotten out of my depression about having [cerebral palsy]," he said.

Terrel is a senior at Eisenhower High School in Decatur. He's lived with cerebral palsy all his life, but he's now helping other students challenge their limitations.

"He was feeling down," said school social worker Ty Douglass. "We had a conversation. At the end of it, I said 'what are you going to do about it?'"

Doing something about it started with a simple shirt, the word warrior emblazoned on the front above the four seasons, symbolizing the year-round struggles students with disabilities face. Terrel sold the shirts to raise awareness and donations for people in need.

"I knew there [were] a lot of people who were struggling so I decided to help," Terrel said.

One of those students was sophomore Nayah Haley who is quietly battling sickle cell anemia.

"I found the person I wanted to be when I came to Eisenhower and met all these people who encouraged me to be my best self," Nayah said.

The shirt sales turned into a full blown student group. The Warrior Project raises awareness and highlights students faculty overcoming physical, mental or learning disabilities.

"I was representing myself. I was representing learning disabilities. I was representing my school and it felt good to prove people wrong," Terrel said.

If there's someone you would like to nominate for the Spirit of Central Illinois, contact Deron Molen (dmolen@wandtv.com) or click here.

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