"Work hard, and don't look for excuses", C. Vivian Stringer's parents told her, "and you can achieve anything." But her faith and perseverance would be tested many times. A gifted athlete, she had to fight for a place on an all-white cheerleading squad in the 60s. In 1981, just as her coaching career was taking off, her 14-month-old daughter, Nina, was stricken with spinal meningitis. Yet Stringer brought a small, poor, historically black college to the national championships.