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Winter Haven student born without arms inspires younger students through JROTC

Posted at 4:46 PM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-21 12:59:56-05

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Winter Haven High School Senior Donavia "Angel" Walker may have been born without arms, but that hasn’t stopped her from lifting the spirits of those around her.

She recently went on a classroom visit to Elbert Elementary School, motivating younger students in her district.

When Walker speaks with kindergartners, they aren’t shy when it comes to questions.

“How do I eat, or how do I get dressed? They will ask anything, and I like to answer them as truthfully as I can,” said Walker.

Walker was born without arms. She’s never looked at it as a disability but a strength.

“I got the nickname Angel because my great-grandmother said I don’t have arms, I have wings,” said Walker.

Walker has been using those wings as a tool for motivational speaking, visiting classrooms and inspiring younger students through JROTC.

“When people see me, they think ‘if she can do it, then I can do it. If she doesn’t have hands and I do and she can, what’s stopping me?’” said Walker.

This week, Walker’s journey came full circle as she was reacquainted with her pre-kindergarten teacher Ms. Peggy, who was there when she first learned to tie her shoes.

“And we tried and we tried and I said, ‘everybody can’t do everything’ and she says, ‘show me one more time’ and she was our shoe tier for the rest of the year,” said Peggy Helms.

Her positive energy isn’t just rubbing off on children but adults too.

“I’m the person that is motivated by her. She inspires me to get up in the morning and want to do what I do,” said Sgt. Major Rudy Carter with Winter Haven High School JROTC.

Walker doesn’t see challenges, just future accomplishments. And next up on her path, graduating high school and attending Troy University, where she will continue to pursue public speaking.

“People will love to listen to my story, and they do now, so I feel like I can motivate people to love their self,” said Walker.