Paralyzed, nonverbal Peekskill student overcomes hurdles to graduate

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PEEKSKILL -

A Peekskill student has overcome many obstacles to graduate high school.

Barbara Rivero is not only graduating with a regular diploma, but she's earned a Regents diploma.

Rivero became paralyzed and nonverbal as a result of a medical procedure performed while she was in second grade.

She then spent seven years at Blythedale Children's Hospital before deciding to return to Peekskill High School in 11th grade.

Ellen Gerace is the director of special services for Peekskill City Schools.

"She's truly an example to others that no matter what your challenges are in life, you can succeed and overcome them," says Gerace. "Barbara has never given up and persevered."

Rivero is planning to attend Westchester Community College this fall.

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