It's surprising that a little girl, with a wide eyed stare that seems so matter of fact, could belt out tunes so profoundly, with such a self-assured presence.
And to think, her parents were told, "she'd never speak."
That's the miracle, the inspiration of Gina Marie Incandela, a seven year old Orlando girl who's not only a model for kids, but could teach anyone how to fulfill a dream.
Gina Singing at the Mets Game
Gina Singing at the U.S. Open
But Gina's journey was a little different, more difficult in some ways, and thanks to parents who listened and offered support, a little easier in others.
You see Gina was diagnosed at the age of two with a mild form of autism called Pervasive Development Disorder. It not only impaired her speech, but her social skills, her fine motor capacity, and her language development.
But thanks to early diagnosis, her parents placed her in occupational therapy and intensive speech therapy which continues today. Progress was slow at first, until they introduced Gina to music. Taking music therapy with Mrs. Theresa Evans unlocked the development door. Her school work improved, she got along better with her peers, and something else. She actually had talent. Her mom, Michelle Incandela said, "Even if she could only sing the vowel parts of the song, she would sing it in perfect pitch and perfect key. I was really something spectacular."
Gina was about to give them another spectacle. At five years old, she heard the national anthem on TV and declared she could sing it better. And she said she wanted to sing at a major league ball game. Her mother couldn't believe it. But instead of tossing the notion aside, she found a try-out for a Spring Training game for the New York Mets. She won an audition, and soon, was standing on the pitchers mound belting out the patriotic tune.
Gina was in demand. After just a year, she's sung in hockey arenas, ballparks, conventions and hometown games of the Orlando Magic. She became the team's good luck charm, singing at nine playoff games, including three NBA Finals.
All the attention was a bit nerve-wracking for her mom, who said, "you're sending your child out there, in the middle of the field, and you just have to pray that nothing goes wrong and hope that audiences like her."
But Gina was right in her element.
I asked her what was the hardest part of singing before thousands of people? And without missing a beat, Gina replied, "It's a piece of cake. The happiest day of my life is when I'm singing."
Be sure to check out our piece tonight at cbsnews.com/evening
As the President braces for a renewed health care battle here at home, a war overseas is grabbing headlines once again.
It's been nearly eight years since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in response to 9-11. Troops went in seeking Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda operatives responsible for the attacks. What they found was a virtually lawless nation where poverty and a lack of infrastructure have made progress a challenge.
Now, as years pass but the violence doesn't, support for the war may be slipping.
In a new CBS News poll, 52 percent of those surveyed said the war is going badly, and fewer than half approve of President Obama's handling of Afghanistan.
August was the bloodiest month there yet, with 51 Americans killed.
The administration may now have to wage two campaigns to win hearts and minds - in Afghanistan where an emboldened Taliban is gaining strength - and in the United States, where time may be eroding resolve.
I'm Michelle Miller, CBS News.
It's been a stressful day for some of the nation's biggest banks. Government stress tests show some, like Bank of America and Wells Fargo, are low on cash.
The tests set up a "what if" scenario.
What would happen if unemployment were to jump to 10.3 percent and home prices were to plunge another 22 percent?
The results show some big banks wouldn't survive, even after billions in bailout money.
Banks with failing grades will have six months to raise the funds, possibly by issuing stock or bonds, or from the government as a last resort, but Washington insists it won't let them fold.
For customers, it will be business as usual.
Your money is protected by the FDIC, although analysts warn banks scrambling to boost revenue may just keep raising those annoying fees - putting a bigger dent in your wallet. That could send you to the doctor - for your own stress test.
A hundred billion here, $100 billion there. It's hard to comprehend the money being tossed around in the Senate. The economic stimulus bill has already grown by about $70 billion since it passed the House. It would now cost almost $900 billion and could get fatter - possibly topping $1 trillion.
One add-on to spend an additional $25 billion on infrastructure projects narrowly failed today. But there are still proposals to spend billions more for health insurance, special education, local police departments or to lower mortgage costs.
I met her outside of Dylan's Candy Store in New York City's Upper East Side. It was before she accepted her Glamour Magazine's Woman of the Year Award under the glare of the bright lights of Carnegie Hall. She hid quietly under the comforting posture of her lawyer, Shada Nassar, and the interpreter assigned to her for the day. But here was a girl who was strong beyond measure.
Nujood Ali was married at the age of nine to a man three times her age. It's not an uncommon practice. Roughly half of Yemeni girls are married before 18, some as young as 8 years old. But it's unusual and unlawful for those marriages to be consummated before the bride turns 15. But in Nujood's case, her husband didn't wait. And after enduring several weeks of abuse, Nujood one morning boarded a bus to head off to court in the city of Sana'a, Yemen's capital. There she would wait for a judge to notice her. And there she would tell him, "I want a divorce."
I've always loved football. The tomboy in me had a talent for passing, kicking, and catching. I thought I had what it took.
But Pop Warner (the youth football association), let alone pro-football for women, wasn't a reality back then. We've come a long way. Women's professional football is now alive and well. Two major leagues boast 3,000 women in 67 cities nationwide. Eighty teams vie for the all-time prize, Superbowl of Championships.
Enter Chicago's Force, the Independent Women's Football League's one undefeated team, vying for ultimate bragging rights. They pound, they pummel. They play hard.
From the outside, it looks like any other three-story pre-war brick building, the kind that harkens back to the little red school house where simplicity is the order of the day.
But walk in and what you feel is community, middle school girls who really get one another.
They have a lot in common, most are children of immigrants, most are from families struggling to earn a living, and most admit if not for the Esperanza Academy, they're not sure where they'd be.
Debt collection is big business.
And when the economy is down, it's really big.
That's because when cash is scarce, more people use credit to make ends meet. They need it to buy groceries, gas, you name it. And they ultimately fall further and further behind if they lose their job, fall victim to illness or suffer any other financial crisis beyond their control.
It's been going on for years – the adult-ification of Halloween dress-up. We're talking teens and tweens wearing mini mini-skirts, fishnets and midriff-baring tops.
Where does it come from? Pop culture. In every age group, trend-setting girls seek out idols from the next-older group. Example: five- to 10-year-olds are watching Hannah Montana, who's 14. Tweens are looking to Brittany Spears and Lindsay Lohan. True teens are looking to celebrities solidly in their 20's. (This isn't just on Halloween – it's every day.)
While reporting on the story I'm working on for tonight, I saw costumes for tweens from the slightly-more-revealing-than-necessary (midriff-baring pirates, flirty milkmaids) to what some call slutty (a far-from-full-coverage strawberry? Come on!). Some parents probably long for the days when the costumes their little ones chose looked nothing like something from the pages of Playboy.
It's not just that kids see dressing in a revealing manner as fun, flirty and adult, but sometimes there's little choice. Some mothers I spoke with lamented the state of the costume-store selection. So many are altering these store-bought outfits. One told me her daughter would be wearing a bodysuit under her costume so she doesn't have to show her midriff.
Old favorites, like pumpkins and ghosts, are still going door-to-door, but Freddie Kruger will need to make room for little ghouls gone wild.
Notebook: The Devil's Winds
Click the video link to find out why.