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A kid who barely communicated with anyone leads his school to sports victory.

Being part of a team helped this middle-school student thrive in a big way.

A kid who barely communicated with anyone leads his school to sports victory.
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Lots of parents get emotional when they see their kids playing sports. This mom is no different. But her son's story is.

As reported by Fox 46 Charlotte, just a few months ago, Tequila Coulter was the only one who her 13-year-old son JaQuise would fully communicate with.



"Quise," as he's affectionately called, has autism. And despite being a good student, a trumpet player in the band, and an usher at church, he was very shy and quiet.

So when he decided to try out for the competitive Knights basketball team at Charlotte, North Carolina's Grier Middle School, his mom was all for it.

"Coach Hunter made sure that he tried out. He did not just get put on the team because of his special needs. He actually tried out and worked hard, and for that I'm so proud of him."
— Tequila Coulter

Yes, Quise made the team. And that was just the beginning.

With the support of his family, teammates, and head coach Marquise Hunter, Quise quickly gained confidence and became an integral part of the team.

"As the season progressed, he definitely started to feel his self, like he definitely started to, you know, get some swagger to him."
— Marquise Hunter, Knights head coach

Here are Quise and his teammates dancing up a storm to get pumped up for the game:

It was that kind of teamwork, sportsmanship, and camaraderie that led them to the middle-school championship for the the third year in a row.

The once quiet, shy seventh-grader helped lead his team to victory.

Quise isn't just a victor on the basketball court. He's a winner all around. And his mom couldn't be prouder. She says confidently: "Just because he has a disability doesn't mean that he can't do things that he wants to do. He's a normal child, has normal dreams, and he's gonna do it."

To see JaQuise in action during the Knight's final game, check this out:

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."