WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (PIX11) — A team of middle school cheerleaders from Washington Heights competed against squads across the tri-state region, making it all the way to Nationals, but now they need funds to make their dreams come true.

The Monarchs of KIPP Washington Heights Middle School want to make it to Orlando in February for the competition, but it costs about $20,000. There are 15 girls on the squad. They need to pay for airfare and hotel rooms for February’s competition.

With all that these girls have been through these past few years, they deserve an opportunity to shine, Head Coach Tatiana Melani said.

“They did an entire year of COVID remote cheerleading for a year.  They came back more determined than ever! And they wanted to go to Nationals and they did exactly that,” Tatiana Melani said.

Assistant Cheerleading Coach Jayson Acosta was on the team. Acosta reached out to PIX11 News for help because of the difficulty in raising funds.

“I want them to have the same experience I had,” Acosta said.

Squad Captain Melina Santana, 13, said her teammates represent the power and the resilience of their Washington heights community. 

Monarchs fly high.  They have plenty of  energy and enthusiasm. They are not just lifting each other up in practice, but also in life, their coach said. If you want to help make it happen for the girls on the squad, click here.