In Loving Memory Of Shanika Beauchamp 2004-2021


Marie Louica

Shanika, here in her senior pictures, was looking forward to graduation.

Who inspires you? 

She always had the brightest smile. The kind of smile that would make you believe everything was going to be okay. The kind of smile that can warm your heart on a bad day. The kind of smile that you look for in big crowds. The kind of smile that makes the quiet seem so loud.

She walked around with that smile every day, passing it on to everyone around her. There was no one who could cheer up someone’s day like her. She used to quietly roam the halls of Santaluces, unnoticed by the chaos of teenagers. Some people probably didn’t even know her name. 

Her name is Shanika Beauchamp. 

A charming woman. A loving daughter. A caring cousin. A warmhearted niece. A devoted student. And a supportive friend. 

Outside the walls of Santaluces High School, I got to see the Shanika no one else saw.

The Shanika that always made me laugh when we were in awkward situations. The Shanika that I looked forward to seeing each time I went to my grandma’s house. The Shanika that had the best stories about her friends. The Shanika that wouldn’t hesitate to tell me how much she loves the people around her. The Shanika that had the best support system. The Shanika that made everyone believe they were enough. The Shanika that could distract anyone from the pain of the moment. 

I got the pleasure of being raised with her. I spent years growing up with her. When people looked at her, all they saw was her disability, but she was so much more than that. She was capable of so much more.

She was smart; a true school nerd at heart. She was patient. Always ready to listen and give all her support. She was gentle. She would watch her little cousins for days with no complaints. She loved every minute with them. She had the heart everyone wished for. She had every chance to be great like we all knew she could have.

She was capable of so much more. 

So when asked the question, “Who inspires you?” my answer is nonetheless, my darling cousin, Shanika Beauchamp.

About Her Condition: 

Shanika spent the majority of her life suffering from Muscular Dystrophy.

By scientific definition, muscular dystrophy is a group of genetic diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. In muscular dystrophies, abnormal genes (mutations) lead to muscle degeneration. Most forms begin in childhood. She struggled to do most things young children could do. Her legs needed extra support for walking, climbing, and even riding a special bike.

Though of course, that never stopped her. Despite the weakness in her legs, she thrived and worked hard to be independent.