Eagles magazine highlights Quakertown student

Quakertown Community School District  |  Posted on

Gabe DaCosta (center) with head football coach George Banas and assistant coach Chris Lemuell

Gabe DaCosta, one of the most popular students at Quakertown Community High School, is highlighted in the November 1 Eagles Gameday Magazine. The profile explains how Gabe developed cerebral palsy from his premature birth and now spends most of his time in a wheelchair. It also reveals details of his charming personality, including his “expressive eyes and rumbling laugh.”

The recognition from the Eagles came to Gabe as he is an ambassador for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). As an ambassador, Gabe represents the thousands of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy and has his story shared.

“I’m just so proud of my son,” said Anthony DaCosta, Gabe’s dad. “As a parent, when your child gets recognized, there’s a satisfaction for his accomplishment.”

Though it’s difficult for Gabe to communicate, students and faculty at QCHS gravitate to him for his warm personality and infectious smile. “Every time I see him he’s always ready for the high five,” Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner said. “Gabe’s spirit, day in and day out, is a true highlight for our students.”

Mr. DaCosta, boys basketball coach at QCHS, said that as a parent he was apprehensive when Gabe began high school because of his son’s physical challenges. Those fears quickly dissipated as “people took to him. It gave us peace of mind. It was tremendous to see him going through high school.”

Though Gabe graduated with the Class of 2019, he currently is part of the district’s ASPIRE program. ASPIRE stands for Acquiring Skills Professionalism, Independence and Responsibility for Education/Employment. It’s for students ages 18 to 21, who may have a mental or physical challenge that calls for more schooling to help them prepare to navigate the world after high school.

“Quakertown and CHOP have been very supportive and my wife and I are very appreciative,” Mr. DaCosta said. “It’s brought warmth to our heart.”