Her high school career was laden with vision loss, homelessness and an extensive list of unmet basic needs. Yet, she epitomized what it means to be a true Olympian, her alma mater’s mascot, persevered through each challenge and recently earned an Associate Degree in Applied Science from Westwood College.
“Aquavea was always unselfish, caring and considerate,” Gateway High School Registrar Rori Jimerson recalls of Bester. “She will continue to be successful because of her spirit. She never once let the circumstance of her experience hinder her success. It has only made her stronger. Her experience has made all of us stronger as well.”
Gateway encourages each Olympian to “Pass the T.O.R.C.H.,” an acronym they use to describe being trustworthy, organized, respectful, confident and helpful. By sharing her story with others, Bester is a torch bearer who will continue to inspire many.