Orlando teen shooting victim walks at high school graduation ceremony

Teen graduates from Dr. Phillips High School two years after shooting

By Amanda Castro - Reporter/Anchor

ORLANDO, Fla. - A teenager who was the victim of domestic violence got back on her feet to walk at her Dr. Phillips High School graduation ceremony this week.

News 6 is not naming the teen because she is the victim of a crime.

Video captured the moment the 18-year-old was helped out of her wheelchair and made her way across the stage using a walker at the Amway Center on Wednesday. 

It's a moment every high school senior works for, but for this teen it was more than just a huge accomplishment. It's a testament to what she has overcome in her past to get to where she is today.

In June 2017, Orlando police said the teen's ex-boyfriend, Kwantedious Ross, shot the then 16-year-old three times. He was on the run for 11 days before he was arrested.

According to court records, Ross was convicted of attempted first-degree murder last year.

The teen tells News 6 she suffered a spinal cord injury, which caused her to be paralyzed. 

She spent the past two years receiving treatment at NextStep Orlando, a paralysis recovery center, and working with her trainer, Travis Allen. 

"The improvements she's made and as well as others, it's just amazing to see," Allen said. 

Allen said her spirit never wavered. He worked with the teen so she could surprise her classmates at their graduation ceremony. He helped the teen out of her wheelchair so she could take her own steps across the stage and accept her diploma.

The special moment was captured on camera with everyone in the Amway Center cheering her on. 

"It was an amazing moment and I'm sure her family and all of her classmates were very excited for her," Allen said. 

The teen tells News 6 she never gave up, adding she knew it would be hard to go back to school after what happened, but she said she believed she could achieve this goal.

She is already taking steps toward a brighter future with the people who support her by her side. 

"She keeps her spirits high and she really works hard and she deserves everything that she's getting," Allen said. "I think it's great and I think it's only going to be going up for her for now."

The teen said she will attend classes at Valencia College in the fall to study sports medicine. She plans to eventually transfer to the University of Central Florida. 

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