Dream Comes True For Hickory Girl - myfoxcarolinas.com

Dream Comes True For Hickory Girl

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  • Kyle McCurry

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    I am a Digital Journalist based in Hickory. I cover Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell and Watauga counties. I was born in Weaverville, NC. My high school dream was to be a White House correspondent, then college happened and I got involved with the radio station at Western Carolina University.
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  • Hickory Motor Speedway Racer Takes Next Step with Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

    Hickory Motor Speedway Racer Takes Next Step with Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:33 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:33:57 GMT
    This weekend marks a big career step for Josh Berry, a Tennessee native who has been racing late model cars for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at Hickory Motor Speedway this year. On Saturday, he will get behind the wheel of the No. 5 Tackle Gear Chevrolet and make his Nationwide Series debut for JR Motorsports at Iowa Speedway.
    This weekend marks a big career step for Josh Berry, a Tennessee native who has been racing late model cars for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at Hickory Motor Speedway this year. On Saturday, he will get behind the wheel of the No. 5 Tackle Gear Chevrolet and make his Nationwide Series debut for JR Motorsports at Iowa Speedway.
  • Indy's Catawba County Connection

    Indy's Catawba County Connection

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:09 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:09:31 GMT
    Jeff Gordon captured his fifth victory in the Brickyard 400 today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His name will go down in history as the winningest NASCAR driver at the Indiana track. But, he is not the only multiple champion.
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Hickory, NC -

Ali Hale is going to college. For this Hickory young lady, it is a major milestone.

“In my case, I would like to go to college because I love school,” said Ali Hale. “So, I can have my own experience to live on my own and I can have a dog and have a wonderful life.”

Ali’s mom, Pam Hale, is not surprised by her daughter’s success.

“She has Down’s Syndrome, which is really the only thing that makes her different than the other kids,” said Pam Hale. “She’s never put any perimeters on herself, and we’ve never put any perimeters on her.”

For the past two years, Ali has been attending Catawba Valley Community College’s Compensatory Education Program.

“It’s really about understanding life outside of the traditional educational setting,” said Garrett Hinshaw, president, Catawba Valley Community College. “Learning skills to advance in their academic capacity and also to advance in their everyday life capacity.”

Now, she has been accepted to Western Carolina University’s University Participant (UP) Program.

“Typically, students who are 18 to 25, who have an intellectual disability, and those that have been involved in their community who have been doing things to get networked,” said Kelly Kelley, WCU’s UP program, “and who also want to work in competitive employment, and live as independently as possible when they finish our program in two years.”

Needless to say, Ali is excited.

“In my case, I would like to go to college because I love school,” said Ali. “I love learning.”

Ali’s dad, Jeff Hale, credits the community with helping her reach this milestone.

“This community has been so fantastic in not only accepting Ali,” Jeff Hale said, “but also just being incredibly supportive in a whole myriad of ways; and we feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to raise our family here.”

Ali is preparing to join her new friends in Cullowhee at Western Carolina University this fall, and she says she is looking forward to supporting her school.

“To be involved,” Ali said. “To celebrate the Catamounts and I can show the spirit.”

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