Unfailing Determination

Junior Overcomes Obstacles to Succeed in Band
Former student Kayleigh Tew and junior Devyn Schmidt pose with their state UIL medals. Photo provided by Devyn Schmidt.
Former student Kayleigh Tew and junior Devyn Schmidt pose with their state UIL medals. Photo provided by Devyn Schmidt.
(Photo courtesy of Devyn Schmidt)

The stadium lights shine bright, illuminating the stands and creating a metallic glow from the instruments lining the field. The sharp sound of a whistle shoots through the air, cutting off the idle chatter of the anxious students. One by one, instruments are raised as squad leader Devyn Schmidt rolls into place and music fills the stadium.

Schmidt is part of the band’s front ensemble. She was born with an orthopedic condition that leaves her in a wheelchair, but it doesn’t stop her from performing or achieving her goals.

“She is a phenomenal band student,” head band director Steven Moore said. “She hasn’t let anything get in her way of doing what she can to try to be the best she can be.”

Because of her condition, Schmidt has had to face many challenges in everyday life such as typing, cooking and driving. 

“I overcome difficulties by just moving forward, and if small mistakes happen I can’t change that,” Schmidt said. “I like to prove people wrong, so when they say something they think I can’t do it, I like to prove them wrong and then do it.”

Schmidt plays the xylophone and is in charge of training the freshman in the front ensemble. 

“I want to do ensemble to be more involved with the band, and I want to go to state for that,” Schmidt said. “Band is basically a family. It is my family at school.”

While she does not participate in All Region band, Schmidt attends other band events. She has been a member of the band since it was originally offered in sixth grade.

“My favorite part about band is the football games,” Schmidt said. “It’s really fun hanging out with everyone.”

Outside of her school life, Schmidt enjoys hanging out with her friends and watching TV. She also draws in her spare time.

“Being in a wheelchair is hard because a lot of people will take pity on me,” Schmidt said.  “Right now, I kind of take the pity but tell them I’m not pitiful. I am a normal girl.”

Schmidt plans to go to A&M to pursue a career in financial accounting. 

“One of my teachers told me that A&M has a very good special education program where people will write for me,” Schmidt said. “The reason I want to do accounting is because I’m good with numbers and I’m a numbers girl.”

Schmidt is currently working towards being able to live alone in her adult life. Recently, she was able to stand for three minutes independently and she got her driver’s permit. She continues to work toward goals that will aid her in this endeavor, such as learning to cook and drive.

“Don’t give up,” Schmidt said. “It’s the one thing you can’t do. If you give up you’re not trying, and not trying is awful in my opinion.”

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