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Why This Teen With Cerebral Palsy Earned a Standing Ovation at Graduation

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On Sunday, the class of 2015 graduated from Columbia High School in Columbia, Illinois. For Robbie Small, getting a diploma wasn’t the only accomplishment that day.

Small, 19, was born with cerebral palsy. His parents were told he would never recognize them, let alone attend and graduate high school, according to KSDK News. But on May 18, despite having used a wheelchair all through high school, Small, with a little assistance, walked to the podium to receive his diploma. The whole crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Small had an important reason for doing this.

To show people that you can accomplish your goal,” he told KSDK News, “even though it’s hard for you.”

Watch Small’s triumphant moment at the 1:40-minute mark in the video below:

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Originally published: May 18, 2015
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