Local News

Girl Scout tops sales record, despite speech disability

Tyra Young was born without two chromosomes

Springs' top cookie seller unable to speak

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - She is one of Colorado Springs top girl scout cookie sellers.  But Tyra Young has a unique challenge, she can't speak.

But through the help of a special device, Tyra is able to overcome her disability and reach her goals.

A computer device, nicknamed "The Talker," forms sentences based on pictures selections she makes.

"Hi my name is Tyra," said the computer.  Tyra goes on to command the computer to say," Would you like to buy Girl Scout Cookies?"

Over the last two years, her mother Misty Young said she's sold nearly 3,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.  Her favorite is the Dosidos.

Misty said her daughter is the only person in the world known with two missing chromosomes.  She has both Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome and Prader Willi Syndrome.

Tyra has undergone multiple surgeries including operations on her heart, stomach and spinal cord.  She will likely need more operations in the future.

Misty said Girl Scouts is one activity where most of the time, she's just like one of the girls.  "She can do what other kids do, which some modification," she said.

Of course, Tyra's favorite activity is selling cookies.  She is a member of Troop 2295.  In addition to going door-to-door, she will be selling cookies at a booth with her fellow girl scouts.

She will be at Safeway, Powers and Constitution, Tues. Feb. 12 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Wed. Feb. 27 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tyra will also be selling cookies at the Pikes Peak Library, Downtown location, on Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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