Breanna Bogucki of Cary
Music has always touched Breanna, now a freshman at Cary Grove High School.
"Ever since she was an infant, music is the one thing she has connected with," her mother, Mary Ellen Bogucki, said. "It made a difference for her. It made her happy and was very calming for her."
"When she was little, Breanna would always sing," remembered Mary Ellen. "We signed her up for voice lessons through NISRA (Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association), and she loved it. Now she is starting high school and is in the choir. I think music has given meaning to her life."
When younger, Breanna was a big fan of "Hannah Montana" and dreamed of being like Miley Cyrus. NISRA provided opportunities for her to develop her artistry.
"This past year, she started doing musicals and plays through NISRA," her mother said. "CYT Chicago partners with the special recreation groups throughout the Northwest suburbs and helps them produce abbreviated versions of popular musicals. They've done 'Annie' and 'Fiddler on the Roof.'"
In 2010, Breanna was one of the contestants in SRA's Got Talent, a statewide precursor to this year's Special Talents America.
"It was such an incredible event," her mother said.
As a finalist, Breanna plans to sing "Mean," a song popularized by Taylor Swift.