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Polk County Student Overcomes Disability To Win National Award

Lyudmilla Fuentes, an eighth grade student at Rochelle School of the Arts in Polk County, is one of 27 students in the nation to win a 2010 “Yes I Can” award from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Lyudmilla is an accomplished musician, despite being born with only a thumb on her left hand. She plays the cello with the strings reversed using her right hand and moves the bow with the help of a prosthesis on her left arm. She will be honored at the 2010 CEC convention on April 23 in Nashville, Tenn. Lyudmilla is also an accomplished soprano, earning state and county honors in chorus, is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, was selected to participate in a space education program at NASA and is a member of the school’s robotics team. She plans to pursue higher education in music, engineering and architecture. To learn more about the CEC and the “Yes I Can” award that recognizes individuals for overcoming disabilities to accomplish remarkable things, visit