Friday, March 03, 2017

Will Compton presents 'Yes I Can Award'

Bonne Terre native and Washington Redskins Linebacker Will Compton presents North County Intermediate Student Brett Forbes with a special award.

By Renee Bronaugh

March 3, 2017

Bonne Terre native and Washington Redskins Linebacker Will Compton visited North County Intermediate Thursday afternoon to present one student with a special award.

North County Principal Melanie Allen introduced North County Intermediate student Brett Forbes and explained he had been nominated for an award by Strategy Specialist Katty Logan a couple of months ago.

“A month or two ago Brett was nominated for the 'Yes I Can Award' and this is a big accomplishment,” said Allen.

The Council for Exceptional Children recently selected 12 students out of 68 submissions to receive "Yes I can" awards. These awards annually recognize the accomplishments of children and youth nationwide with exceptionalities (ages 2-21). It selects winners for their outstanding achievements in one of six categories: Academics, Arts, School and Community Activities, Self-Advocacy, Technology, and Transition.

Brett was recognized for his outstanding achievement in School and Community Activities.

“Brett is a wonderful basketball player and we wanted to recognize him today," Allen said. "His family is here and Mr. Compton. Brett was born with Spina bifida and he hasn’t let that stop him.”

Allen said every day this young man does the best he can do and he doesn’t let his physical challenges hold him back from doing what he wants to do.

It came as no surprise to his family when he asked when he could start playing basketball. Brett started basketball when he was in kindergarten and hasn’t stopped.

“Despite his challenges he has been able to navigate around the building and we see him every day rocking and rolling,” said Allen. “Sometimes I have to calm him down a little bit because he likes to do his wheelies. He participates in all general education and he is very competitive and never gives up.”

Allen stressed Brett always does his best no matter what obstacle stands in his way. His dream is to play at the collegiate basketball level one day.

“Brett is not only an inspiration to his peers or you guys, but also all the adults around him,” Allen said, beginning to tear up. “Like I said a while ago, he is an inspiration to me and his attitude and drive to accomplish his goal is something his school and his community admire. On behalf of the North County School District, we nominated Brett Forbes for the 'Yes I Can Award.' We are very proud of you, I am very proud and I believe in you.”

Compton told the students he was really honored to be there to give this award to Brett.

“I want you to know I just heard about you and you are inspiring,” said Compton. “Can you come up here? When I heard Miss Allen say you never complain and she almost started crying, that you never complain and face all these things and go through all this adversity, it touched me. I complain all the time, but then I hear what you go through, that you never complain and always have a good attitude.”

Compton said this is a perfect example of adversity. He praised Brett for doing things he was probably told he would never do.

“But he is still playing basketball and making good grades,” said Compton. “He has to go through this every day and if this doesn’t put things into perspective about what I complain about or what you complain about, I don’t know what will.”

He indicated he admires Brett for fighting every day to do the things he loves to do.

“He can’t jump and run around and play basketball, but he found a way to play basketball and he is doing it well," Compton said. "I am very grateful to give you this award and I know this award represents a lot of stuff. Man, I really am so grateful I get to meet you and shake your hand. I want to congratulate you on this award. You are really an inspiration to me and you make me want to go out and do stuff right now.”

A loud rumble of applause echoed through the gym as everyone clapped their loudest for Brett and his accomplishments.

Brett's mom, Beth Forbes, said they went to Fort Wayne, Indiana, last weekend for a wheelchair basketball tournament and his team beat the number two nationally ranked team in the nation.

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