My name is Chrissy Clark-Langlois and I am a 2013 graduate of Chippewa Valley High School in Clinton Twp. My mom and I were burned in a house fire when I was 2 years old. As a result, I had to have both of my legs amputated below the knees. Since my mom was unable to care for me, due to the extent of her burns, I was placed into foster care and at the age of 3, went to live with my great aunt and uncle.
When I was 10 years old and in the 5th grade, I joined the Sterling Heights Challengers wheelchair basketball team. It was one of the best decisions I ever made! In playing for this team over the past 8 years, I won many awards including leadership and hustle, made many all tournament teams, and most importantly made the Midwest Conference all academic team each of those years.
Off the court, I was a repeat honor roll student at school, and in my high school years was a member of the “Be the Change Club” and National Art Honor Society. Throughout my senior year, I volunteered 3 hours daily in the special needs classroom at my former elementary school and also volunteered at the Special Olympics for 3 years. At church I volunteered weekly in the religious education program and was chosen by the director for the annual Timothy Leadership award.
In my years of basketball traveling, I’ve met many amazing people from all over the country, some sure to be life long friends! I’ve also learned to be independent, preparing me for what the future holds. In 3 weeks, I will be heading off to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania to study psychology and continue playing basketball on their ladies team. I’m excited to go on and do something new, play basketball, meet new people, and create memories. My goal is to someday play on the USA National Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team.
As I go off to create another path in my journey of life, I will always remember the people who got me to where I am today. I am most thankful to my coaches: Diane, Carl, and John who have pushed me to be the best that I can be. Also for Coach Mo Phillips, who is constantly encouraging me and supporting me both on and off the court. And for my biological mom, who before she passed away, taught me more than anyone could imagine and for my adoptive parents, siblings, family and friends. Without all of them, not only would I not be here with you now, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today!
Thank you, Athlete’s Unlimited, for presenting me with this award today, and for giving me the opportunity to achieve my goals. I am truly grateful and honored.