Parker-Chase Preschool Students Make a Girl’s Cheerleading Dream Come True

Draya poses with members of the Atlanta Falcons cheerleader team.

Students at our Parker-Chase Preschools in Atlanta worked together to help make a dream come true for a young girl.

On Sunday, December 10, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, 8-year-old Draya performed a cheer with the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders during a halftime show. The spirited performance was the finale of a fun-filled weekend that allowed Draya to experience one of her biggest dreams.

Parker-Chase students decided to get involved after they heard Draya’s inspiring story. She was born with a congenital heart defect that has required multiple surgeries and hospital visits, including a two-month inpatient stay to receive a pacemaker, which has limited her physical ability. Despite this limitation, Draya dreamed of dancing and performing with the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders.

“When I first heard about Draya, I realized helping make her dream come true would be an incredible opportunity for our students to learn how working together can make great things happen,” said Sue Holm, the school leader at Parker-Chase Preschool in Roswell.

Indeed, Parker-Chase Preschool students made a great thing happen.

Working Towards a Dream

From October through the first week of December, students from all seven Parker-Chase Preschools in the Atlanta area held various events, including movie nights, art nights, chili cook-offs, and much more.

Through a partnership with Dream on 3, a non-profit organization specializing in making children’s sports-related dreams come true, Parker-Chase students raised nearly $10,000 to fund Draya’s dream.

Parker-Chase Preschool teachers and school leaders helped coordinate the effort by organizing events, communicating with parents, and publicizing them to their neighborhood.

“Seeing our students and teachers create so many fun events that got parents and neighbors involved in a great cause showed that Parker-Chase Preschools are a special part of the community,” said Diane Heilmann, the Atlanta-area regional director for Endeavor Schools, the parent company of Parker-Chase Preschools.

Draya’s Dream Days

After Parker-Chase Preschool committed to Draya’s dream, Dream on 3 enrolled Draya in the Junior Falcons Cheerleaders camp, where Draya got to meet and practice with the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders for several weeks. She learned dance moves and practiced cheers with one of the most talented groups of cheerleaders in professional sports.

Because she was in the camp, Draya knew she would eventually get to perform with the Falcons cheerleaders – but didn’t expect an entire dream weekend when she did it.

On Saturday, December 9, one day before the big event, Dream on 3 sent a limo to Draya’s house and took her whole family to Rosie’s Cafe, the Georgia Aquarium, and TopGolf for some miniature golf. Draya and her family also stayed at a hotel by the stadium to ensure she would be well-rested for her big day.

Draya’s dream came true the following day as she arrived at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to prepare for the performance with her Junior Falcons team and the Falcons cheerleaders.

And then, dressed in an authentic Falcons cheerleader outfit, Draya stepped out onto the field at halftime and flawlessly executed her performance in front of thousands of people with a big smile as her family watched.

It was a dream come true for a special little girl, and it happened because Parker-Chase Preschool students banded together to make Draya’s dream a reality.

Parker-Chase Preschool employees helped make Draya’s dream come true.