Isabel Arreola, 11, stepped to the microphone Friday to begin a rap by B.o.B.
Before she took the stage, Arreola said she was looking forward to the performance.
“It’s nice because I’ll be able to do it in front of people because I’m used to doing it in my room,” said Arreola, her smile complemented by long, brunette hair.
Arreola and other performers were taking part in the Army Community Service, Exceptional Family Member Program Talent Show at the Main Post Theater, Jan. 24.
The EFMP works to provide comprehensive support to Families with special needs.
Arreola was one of various performers at the inaugural talent show, including her sister, Rebecca, 15.
“It’s an opportunity for them to shine. Everybody needs their moment in the spotlight,” said Trisha Newton, EFMP program manager.
Isabel also rapped “Gimme Dat,” a Christian hip-hop song by The Ambassador that champions faith and discipleship.
Rebecca, who sang “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, said she performed to show support for her sister, who battles Type 1 diabetes.
“The talent show gives them the opportunity to get around kids just like them,” said Sgt. 1st Class Arturo Arreola, their father and a 16-year Army veteran.
Linda Persaud agreed.
The Army spouse and mother of Sean, 12, added that the talent show also provides the opportunity for her son to express himself in a format not usually available to special needs children.
“It’s hard for him to be around people. It’s a great way to be able to do things that other children have the chance to do,” Persaud said.
Sophia, 5, Persaud’s daughter, also took the stage, singing a song from the “Sophia the First” Disney TV series.
Kahale and Kekoa Pabo, 7 and 4, respectively, made up another set of sibling performers. Like Isabel and Rebecca, like Sean and Sophia, the Pabo children also brought their singing talent to stage.
No matter who performed, the intent of the show was pre-established.
“The show is non-competitive. We just want them to have fun,” said Jackie Pfunter, EFMP systems navigator.
Heather Pabo, Kahale and Kekoa’s mother, would encourage other Fort Bragg Family members to join EFMP.
All the activities the EFMP program set up are welcoming, Heather said.
Some of the services provided by the EFMP program include educational and medical advocacy, support groups for Family members, relocation services and respite care.
Some typical enrollment qualifications are hearing impairments, asthma/autism, behavioral health needs, sickle cell disease, diabetes and special education.
For more information about the EFMP program, call Newton at 907-3395 or visit www.fortbraggmwr.com/acs/exceptional-family-members/.