It's a story of Friendship...
Sarah and her sister have been my friends for as long as I can remember. I was eight when we all first met. We played games, were silly and laughed together like 3 sisters. I felt Sarah was so kind. We listened to Beyonce on full volume and danced without stopping.
I was a 11 when I realized Sarah had a disability. At school kids would stare and not speak to her.
I knew then I had to stand up and educate others about disabilities and be a voice for my friend and community.
I started my journey in developing tolerance and acceptance for all children. I volunteer at Gigi's Playhouse-Down Syndrome Achievement Center. It is a place I spend hands on time with children of all ages. Today I know countless children with Down Syndrome and their families.
What am I doing?
I have created Dress Down Day at my school to create awareness. It is my goal to have Dress Down Day at every school in Minnesota. I have worked with our Governor to create a week for tolerance and acceptance (June 21) and I have spoken to large crowds and small groups about my personal goals as an advocate for children with Down Syndrome and other disabilities. I volunteer for Fraser School for children with Disabilities, GiGi's Playhouse, Special Olympics, and Best Buddies working hand in hand with Down Syndrome and other disabled individuals.
As of right now I primarily work with Best Buddies. I am an advocate and a spokesperson. At Best Buddies we aim to instill self confidence in the children to achieve their greatest potential. One of the things I love best about volunteering in this community is helping people to understand not only their innate gifts but their abilities.
I am an advocate and a resource people can turn to for information concerning disabilities. As a friend of someone impacted by Down Syndrome, I understand the role I play in her life. She has taught me that friendship begins and ends in our hearts. For all she has accomplished, she, and the other 200 million individuals worldwide deserve a life rich with friends, an opportunity to realize their dreams, have jobs they like, and always be included in their community.
Best Buddies is the world largest organization committed to helping those with not only Down Syndrome but other intellectual and physical disabilities.