Howard cheerleaders offer confidence tips to young girls

HBCU students offer advice

Howard cheerleading captains senior Maya Higginbotham and junior Simonne Legette are aware of their influence. As young girls watch from a distance, they want to make sure they make a strong impression.

The captains spoke to rolling out during Howard’s season-opener against Alabama State in the 2022 Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge.

What are you looking forward to most this season?

Maya Higginbotham: For the season, I hope to compete this year. I’m a very competitive person and I know that our team is good, so I definitely want to compete.

Simonne Legette: I’m just excited to see how far we progressed in our skills [and to] see what things we can do by the end of this season.

How does it feel to be back on the field?

MH: It feels amazing. I definitely miss being on a big field … [[in front of] a gigantic crowd.

SL: All of the energy from the fans, the band, our team and the football team. It’s just exciting to be around the energy.

Maya, this is your last season.

MH: Yes, it is. I’m really sad, actually.

What do you want to get most out of this season?

MH: I think meeting new people and being able to share our positivity because this year we’ve become a lot closer as a team. Just being able to share that happiness with other people. Seeing little kids and even older people smiling with us and being excited to see us. I definitely want to get that out of this season.

What are you going to miss most about Howard?

MH: Definitely being around a bunch of beautiful Black people who are amazing and want to push you to be better as well … I’m from a Dallas suburb, so it was predominantly White. Coming to Howard was a really big change for me, but it didn’t feel that big because everyone made me feel so comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t have to think as much when I’m in the classroom or when I’m out with people. I didn’t have to like pretend to be somebody I’m not.

How can people help Howard?

MH: Donating. Actually interacting with students and talking to us.

SL: Just genuinely support us in any way you can. Education, career wise, on the field, off the field. In any way.

How do you handle the responsibility of representing Howard?

SL: It’s an honor to be a representation of our culture and what we have to offer.

What are some confidence tips you have for the little girls who look up to you?

MH: Fake it till you make it. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will believe in you. As long as you know that you look good and that you’re that girl, then you’re going to be that girl.

SL: Positive self-talk. Always cheer yourself on more than anyone else does.

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