For Kristen Hopper, Gas South Operations Analyst I, cheerleading is more than just a sport. It’s a way to connect with young women in her community, and help to build their confidence and develop important life skills through performances and friendships.
In high school, Kristen developed a passion for working with kids with special needs after volunteering with the Special Olympics. She was coaching cheerleading when she decided to put her talents to work to make a difference – and that’s how the Fabulous Flames Cheerleaders were born. The cheerleaders range in age from as young as five years old, to women in their 20s. They also have a wide range of abilities – there’s no disability that can preclude someone from joining. All that’s needed is a desire to cheer and a will to learn!
The Fabulous Flames perform at local cheerleading competitions through Impact Cheerleading, a competitive league that brings together faith and a love for cheerleading.
When Kristen established the team in 2011, there were only seven girls on the team. Today, it has now grown to almost 30 members.
“I’ve been so blessed to see the original seven as well as the rest of the team grow up together over time – becoming more mature, kind and ever-loving each year,” said Kristen. “Our biweekly practices are simultaneously the most high energy and most relaxing hours of my week. There is just something about our team that leaves you both recharged and serene after being with us.”
Kristen is pursuing her own desire to Be a Fuel for Good. She’s elevating her community and positively influencing the lives of the girls she mentors every week. She’s also inspiring others to get outside of their comfort zone.
Kristen – Thank you for your dedication to warming the lives of friends and neighbors!