NEW YORK – At just 11-years-old, Tayloni Mazyck was paralyzed by a stray bullet. Now, she’s 13, graduating middle school with honors and heading to high school with big dreams.
Tayloni was standing outside her New York City apartment building when a gang member fired a gun nearby, according to WPIX. A stray bullet ended up in Tayloni’s spine.
This week, she graduated from the New Design Middle School in Harlem as a merit scholar. She was greeted with a standing ovation at her graduation ceremony before delivering an inspiring speech.
“I won today. Today I am a winner,” said Tayloni. “Having problems is not an excuse to give up. Just an opportunity to fight harder and win.”
After becoming paralyzed, her family moved to Harlem. Tayloni underwent several months of homeschooling before deciding to go back to school.
In the fall, she will attend the High School for Law, Advocacy and Community Justice. She plans to become a lawyer.