AUSTIN, Ind. (WDRB) -- Austin High School will perform on the big stage in Chicago. Its show choir was selected for a prestigious competition. However, no matter what happens, the team said it's already won. 

Each singer is aware of the reputation of Austin, Indiana.

"Drugs have been around my life -- 13 years of my life -- and I'm 17 now, so a good majority of my life," Courtney Neace said. 

Some have a direct connection.

"People are not going to sit in this crowd and think, 'You know, she's been around drugs, or her mom died from this,'" said Neace. "They're not even going to know anything about me. So it gives me the chance to be Courtney."

These students are tackling what seemed like the impossible, with the stage as their backdrop.

"We never would have thought that we would have done anything like this," Jake Shadburn said. "Something like this to take the minds off of that -- it's a good thing that we're actually getting recognized for something other than the bad."

Fame, a prestigious show choir competition, selected Austin High School to compete in Chicago.

"These are some of the best show choirs across the nation," said Kailey Fugate. "We know that it's just an honor to be selected to go and this is just a great way to represent our school -- and not even just our school, our county. Just to represent our town and to show the world what we're made of."

Their theme is things aren't always what they seem.

"Our show this year kind of represents our town and what we are. We come out in these outfits. Maybe you think we're thugs or we're not the best people," Fugate said.

Through their songs, their reputation changes, much like real life.

"Our opener is Born to Rise. We're here and we're going to rise above everything that's going on and we're going to make it and we're going to do the impossible and that's what we conclude with. Nothing's impossible for these kids and I tell them that all the time and really, I don't care what your circumstances are because when you're with me, you're going to be the best," said choir teacher Kathy Sego said.

The students take the stage in April. Most have never been to Chicago.

"Just leave it all out there and just not look back," Shadburn said. 

They thank their teacher every step of the way.

"She's really my second mother. That's the only way to put it. She's such a great woman and I love her," Shadburn said. 

However, their teacher says win or lose, they've already accomplished the unthinkable.

"For them to have gone above and beyond and get rewarded for it, as a teacher, there's nothing greater than to see success in your kids," said Shadburn For other people to recognize what you see in them all along. They're all-stars in my eyes but to have someone else say they're good, they're great, warms my heart."

The team still has to raise about $15,000 to go. To help, click here to donate or send donations to: 

Kathy Sego

401 South Hwy 31 Austin, Indiana 47102

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