Waco: Baylor grad embraces handicap to reach dream

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WACO, Texas. (KWTX) Graduation is a special ceremony for seniors across the country but one Baylor Bear will have an extra pep in her step as she crosses the stage on Friday.

Rebekah Tate. (Photo by Rhyan Henson)

Rebekah Tate has had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get where she is today.

Cancer forced doctors to amputate her leg as an infant.

Like any other child, Rebekah spent an extensive amount of time in school but that’s where she learned many hard lessons, many of which can’t be found in a textbook.

“I would say that the classroom isn't just for the subject you're teaching, it's for life,” Tate said.

Rebekah was embarrassed by her prosthesis when she was younger.

In the third grade she turned a corner, however, and began to embrace it; a confidence found with the help of supportive friends and encouraging educators.

“I have had a lot of teachers that I really love that gave me life experience as a person,” Tate said.

“As a leader, a student, just (teaching me) compassion and kindness.”

It was these experiences that made her want to pursue education as a fulltime career.

Given her trials and tribulations, she has a different perspective on life.

She has a lot to offer and can teach important lessons that aren’t in the curriculum.

"I would use my leg in a way to, and the struggles and challenges I've had with my leg, to motivate students,” Tate said.

“That even if they are doing something differently. It's not necessarily wrong.”

At first glance you may think she has a different stride.

To Rebekah, each step is a reminder of all that she has overcome and the heights she will reach in the future.

Next fall you can find her fulfilling her lifelong dream, teaching math at her former high school, Arlington High.