A local student is making a national impact. Newscenter 11 caught up with Cole Cheatham Wednesday at Neshoba Central Middle School. For the last few months he's been spending a lot of time traveling around the country spreading a message about the importance of being positive. Cole is the first student from Neshoba County to be elected as an officer for the National Junior Beta Club.
"It may not be enough, but give the best you have," that's an excerpt from a speech that Cole Cheatham's mom shared with Newscenter 11. It's from one of the speeches that he's been presenting to thousands of students across the nation. Cole's peers voted the 4 "4" tall 8th grade student, who battles muscular dystrophy, to serve as chaplain for the National Junior Beta Club.
"I didn't expect it," says Cole, "but I was looking for them to call my name out, and when they did man I went crazy!"
Cole is part of a what's becoming a winning tradition at Neshoba Central Middle School. Over the years, seven students from the school have been elected to state offices with the Junior Beta Club.
"I want to succeed and I tell my kids in August when we start our club that I expect the best out of them and I work for that," says Tammy Burk, who is the head sponsor for the Beta Club at Neshoba Central Middle School.
As for Cole, his achievements go beyond Beta Club. For the past five years he has served as manager for his school's varsity football team, and for past two years he's also served as manager for the baseball team.
"Cole has a very positive perspective on life," says Glen Shurden, who is the assistant principal at NCMS. "He doesn't let his challenges hold him back. He looks at the positives in everything, and he's well respected by our staff, and his peers."
"My motivation is that I just think that you should have a positive outlook on life," says Cole. "The best thing you can have is a positive outlook on life."
Cole was elected as chaplain for the Mississippi Junior Beta Club last March, and for the same office with the National Junior Beta Club in June.