My photo essay subject will be my friend, Lauren. Lauren is 20 years old and her diagnoses of depression and anxiety have held her back from many aspects in her life like making friends, staying motivated, and even attending school. However, Lauren has always been very passionate about cheering- it’s actually where we first met. Even though the cheer team already meets from 6am to 8am, three days a week, Lauren still works hard to improve her skills so that she can be the best; and her hard work has paid off, as she is the center stunt group in her team’s routine. She once told me that she no longer has time to feel sad because she is always at the gym and it keeps her distracted. From the perspective of her family and others that know her, cheering has also helped her come out of her shell and increased her confidence. Lauren plans to try out for a local All Star cheerleading team in the upcoming month, and has hope that her skills will be good enough to make a level 5 team.