College? Check! Dream job after graduation? Check...
People With Down Syndrome | In My Own Words
by Katherine Anderson
3w ago
College? Check! Dream job after graduation? Check! Place to live independently. Check! Colleen Maher, 21, has been a good friend to Sam for the last two years! Like Sam, Colleen graduates this May from Judson University’s 2-year RISE Program, and she’s full of excitement for all that’s to come! How have you liked Judson? “I love being here. It’s so nice to finally be away from home. I just love the freedom here and that I can make my own decisions. I want to be independent. I’m only an hour away from home, and I love being able to socialize and make new friends like Sam here. I also love goin ..read more
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“I’m learning how to be independent. That’s the go...
People With Down Syndrome | In My Own Words
by Katherine Anderson
7M ago
“I’m learning how to be independent. That’s the good stuff,” says Bradley Matthew Brown, 21, a second-year student in the RISE Program at Judson University in Illinois who also happens to be Sam’s roommate! Sam was excited to interview his good friend Brad, and to share Brad’s interview to cap off Down syndrome awareness month—his way of celebrating all those who’ve worked so tirelessly to create opportunities and open doors for people with exceptional abilities across the country, and all those, like Brad, who are learning “the good stuff!” Here’s the rest of Sam’s interview: What made you de ..read more
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Watching the movie Hidden Figures inspired Sophie ...
People With Down Syndrome | In My Own Words
by Katherine Anderson
2y ago
Watching the movie Hidden Figures inspired Sophie Slack and she was thrilled to meet her hero, Katherine Johnson, in person at the unveiling of a statue honoring this famous mathematician on her 100th birthday. This was a moment Sophie hasn’t forgotten. Though Katherine has since passed away, ever since that time, Sophie has visited the statue when exciting things happen. Sophie’s Dad, Steve explains, “It’s where she goes to be inspired.” Pictured above, Sophie brought with her the trophy she received for participation from her robotics team to proudly showcase. Sam met Sophie, the oldest of t ..read more
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When we first met John Cronin and his dad, Mark, a...
People With Down Syndrome | In My Own Words
by Katherine Anderson
2y ago
When we first met John Cronin and his dad, Mark, at the kick-off of the NDSS Buddy Walk in Times Square (and saw John’s picture on the big screen), we knew about John’s Crazy Socks, but didn’t know all the ways they’ve been using fun socks to build bridges. Last March, they met with Congressman Andrew Garbarino (R-NYS) and Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-NY3) to announce their plans to give President Biden and every member of Congress a pair of your Unity Socks, to celebrate unity in purpose and belief in the ideal of the United States of America. They’ve also met with Nancy Pelosi, who gave a pair ..read more
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Joey Jurries’ favorite high school memories have ...
People With Down Syndrome | In My Own Words
by Katherine Anderson
3y ago
Joey Jurries’ favorite high school memories have a common theme:  “Football band, pep band, hockey band.” Playing the snare drum in the band for sporting events has been the hands-down favorite for this high school senior, who has played the drums for seven years. In fact, drumming led to a memory Joey will never forget! In 2019,  he won artist Josh Wilson’s “Dream Small” contest. He flew to Nashville and got to spend time with the artist in his studio (pictured above). His favorite memory from the trip? “Going with Aunt Kim. Drumming in his studio.” But while dr ..read more
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What’s Luke Drumright, 22, looking forward to?&nbs...
People With Down Syndrome | In My Own Words
by Katherine Anderson
3y ago
What’s Luke Drumright, 22, looking forward to? “It’s date night tonight! We are going to have pizza and some ice cream. It’s almost five years we’ve been dating. I met Melina at her house, and we started hanging out together.”  Although of course date night takes precedence, Luke has more pretty awesome events on the horizon, and he has already accomplished some huge goals including traveling to Canada and Italy for World Championship meets for Down syndrome swimmers, moving out of his parent’s home, and being the first person with Down syndrome to receive a “Think Cardinal” certific ..read more
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Caleb J. Prewitt may only be 13 years old, but alr...
People With Down Syndrome | In My Own Words
by Katherine Anderson
3y ago
Caleb J. Prewitt may only be 13 years old, but already he’s been a guest on the Today Show, appeared on the big screen in Times Square, and he and his mom have more than 27,000 followers on Instagram. When we spoke, Caleb had just returned to his in-person eighth grade classroom at North Florida School of Special Education. When asked about school, he said, “I wear a mask.”  Like many, he was adjusting to the new normal, and missing his routines, which include Special Olympic sports, Sunday school, and gatherings with friends. But the Prewitts have been filling in the gaps in fun—and ..read more
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Remember Amy Bockerstette, 21, who said, “I got th...
People With Down Syndrome | In My Own Words
by Katherine Anderson
4y ago
Remember Amy Bockerstette, 21, who said, “I got this,” before masterfully launching her ball out of a sand trap onto the green, and then sinking her putt at the 16th hole during practice for the Waste Management Phoenix Open in January of 2019? (If not, you can check it out here: https://youtu.be/rYSjFvCNP7Q) Since that time, Amy has been one busy lady. “I have been all over the country playing golf, giving speeches, and making new friends.” These friends includ…Since that time, Amy has been one busy lady. “I have been all over the country playing golf, giving speeches, and making new fri ..read more
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“It could happen,” says Sean McElwee, 26, one of t...
People With Down Syndrome | In My Own Words
by Katherine Anderson
4y ago
“It could happen,” says Sean McElwee, 26, one of the stars of the Emmy Award-winning reality show Born This Way, who loves reminding people to chase their dreams . . . because they just might come true. As a child, he says, “I always wanted to be on TV.” His big dream came true in December 2015 when Born This Way debuted. “That’s what faith can do,” says Sean, one of the seven individuals with Down syndrome whose life was chronicled on the groundbreaking A&E show, until the finale in December 2019. Sean says the show changed his life in many ways. “I learned how to respect the camera, to r ..read more
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“One sees clearly only with the heart. Everything...
People With Down Syndrome | In My Own Words
by Katherine Anderson
4y ago
“One sees clearly only with the heart. Everything essential is invisible to the eyes,” says 29-year-old Charlotte Woodward, quoting from The Little Prince.  The first person with Down syndrome to attend George Mason University as a degree-seeking student, Charlotte is currently a junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in inequality and social change. What does Charlotte believe are the most essential things to know about her?  “I am a big advocate for others, and for equality. I am kind, caring, and have always wanted to help others,” she says. She has alread ..read more
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