An 11-year-old North Texas girl out-shined hundreds from across the country to win The Braille Institute's 2011 Braille Challenge for blind students. Ahbee Orton was the only Texan in the competition and she took top honors in her division.
This is the second time Orton has won the competition in the last three years, and she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. The Braille Challenge is a three-part competition that includes reading comprehension, spelling and proofreading. Seeing her succeed gives Ahbee's parents a sense of pride.
"It's exciting and it makes you proud. She's a great kid, if she wins the contest or not, she's a really good kid," said Ahbee’s mom, Joy Orton.
Joy and her husband adopted Ahbee from China when she was four years old. Ahbee was born with a visual impairment called Nystagmus.
"We contacted our agency and said, 'What do we have to do to get this child?' We saw her profile in May of 2004, and in September we were picking her up," Joy said.
With her intelligence and sweet demeanor, Joy said Ahbee is more than just a typical 11-year-old, and life wouldn't have been the same without her.
"It's a blessing, she really is a blessing for us," Joy said.