Coming out of her shell
When Carroll hit middle school, she faced bullying.
Her friends sat at her side talking about how they were all bullied throughout middle school and into their early high school years. Zenaida Torres remembers other students being especially mean to Carroll. The two became friends passing each other in the counselor’s office where they went to talk through the problems they each faced.
Three years ago Slim Byars died. Jennie Byars was diagnosed with stomach cancer soon after. (She recently had a PET scan, which came back clean of cancer.)
Carroll hit a really hard time facing so many trials in just a few years.
“She was really a daddy’s girl,” Byars said. “These last two years (when she enrolled at Coahulla Creek), she has really come out of her shell. The kids are great. They’re more accepting here.”
Carroll said she changed her outlook on life and those who were mean to her after her dad died. That’s when she found a strong faith in God.
“I know God won’t put me in anything I can’t go through,” she said.
Now if a student picks on her or if she’s having an especially hard day, she simply “doesn’t let it bother” her. She has been inspired by Nick Vujicic, a motivational speaker and author who has no limbs. He is a reminder to Carroll that she is not the only one who faces struggles or who is different.
‘An awesome friend’
Her hope and positive outlook serves as an inspiration to not only the student body and faculty at Coahulla Creek, but to many who have met her.
“Today I had a bad day,” Torres said. “She sends me excerpts from Nick Vujicic’s book. It helps me a lot. Even though she had a bad day, she never got sad.”
Carroll is someone Savannah McCraw looks up to and thinks more people should become friends with.
“We had some classes together,” she said. “A lot of people are too shy to talk to her. I decided I wanted to get to know her. She’s really an awesome friend. She always knows how to make me feel better.”
Even if Carroll is having a terrible day, she is sweet and kind to everyone.
“I never hear her say anything mean about anyone,” McCraw said. “You can never tell if she’s having a bad day.”
Carroll may struggle with some everyday tasks, but she possesses many traits her friends don’t.
“She’s able to do stuff we’re not able to,” Torres said. “She stays strong. She has people here that love her and support her.”