A popular saying often used to describe things is “Leave them better than you found them.”

Editors Note: This is part of a series profiling the finalists for the 2019 Cheerleader of the Year award, which will be announced at the Best of the Arbuckles Preps banquet in May. 

A popular saying often used to describe things is “Leave them better than you found them.”

For Ardmore Tigerettes member Noelia Rodriguez, she doesn’t just want to leave a lasting legacy on Ardmore High School, but she wants to help create an outlet for those who feel like they don’t have a voice in the world.

After suffering through the loss of two very close friends during her high school life, Noelia was inspired to go into the mental health field, to help those struggling with the thought of suicide so they could have a way to understand they aren’t alone and that someone cares. 

“I think that when people look for help, sometimes they aren’t as personable as they need to be,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve struggled with a lot of things as well, and staying positive is hard. But I feel like my experience has helped me take the pain I’ve felt and use it in a way that helps people and makes them feel stronger as a person.”

Noelia has been a three-year member of the pom squad and Leaflets, where she is the president, as well as a four year member of National Honor Society and a member of Health Corps, while currently owning an overall GPA of 3.95. 

Rodriguez is also a member of the Brass Ring Center of Performing Arts, and has been a member of Broadway Kids for 11 years, while also being a student instructor for six years, and performing in productions since 2011. She has also danced for 11 years. 

In addition, Noelia is also the student council president, and a member of the Ardmore Beautification Council, as well as choir and the drama team, where she was a member of the 2017 state championship team. 

When it comes to pom accomplishments, Noelia has also made her mark there as well.

She has received superior ratings at UDA Pom Camp, where she was asked to come back and tryout as an instructor. 

In the community, Noelia has volunteered her time at local nursing homes singing Christmas carols, as well as helping paint pumpkins in children’s shelters. Last year, she also raised money to donate to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation in honor of a disabled student at Ardmore High School. 

“I’ve been doing pom since I was in seventh grade, so I grew up in this environment,” Rodriguez said. “Pom has been a family that I can lean on regardless of the situation.”

“I have an 18-month planner, and that’s basically how I have my life planned out,” Noelia added. “I try and help as many people as I can, so that planner helps me figure out how to handle certain situations and hopefully use that experience down the road.”

This season, the pom squad was led by Morgan Manley, a coach Rodriguez said was like a fresh start for her during her senior year.

“I just remember bus rides back during games and she would just have us laughing,” Rodriguez said about coach Manley. “She really was like a fresh start for us, and made things so much better.”

This past December, Noelia added another accomplishment to her resume, as she was named to the All-Ardmoreite cheer team. She said that winning the first ever Cheerleader of the Year award would prove that pom isn’t just a secondary program, but a group of hard working people.

“Pom doesn’t get as much recognition as it deserves,” Noelia said. “Winning the award would shine a light on just how much work we do as people and as members of the pom squad. The fact we could get recognized in that fashion means the absolute world.” 

Noelia plans to attend the University of Oklahoma this fall where she will double major studying international business and communications.