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Teen with cerebral palsy plans to retrace the path of WWII soldiers

By Moriah Balingit

Veterans often have been a source of inspiration for Kimberly Ortiz.

Kimberly, 16, a sophomore at the District’s Woodrow Wilson High School, has cerebral palsy and has crossed paths with disabled military veterans at Adaptive Adventure Day, when veterans — some with disabilities — volunteer to help disabled children participate in sports. And Kimberly, who walks with a limp, said she is energized when she sees veterans conquer their challenges.

Now she will have a chance to retrace the steps of American soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy as part of a special program that is slated to bring high schoolers to France in June to study D-Day. The Columbia Heights teen was selected as one of 15 students to attend the program along with her English and history teacher, Eden McCauslin, impressing the selection committee with her passion for history and her determination.

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