Today is Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to giving back to the community. We'd like to share Andrew's story, in his own words, with you today to show you the ways that people with Down syndrome exceed expectations.
My name is Andrew. I have an amazing life. In 1988 when I was in kindergarten, I was in a classroom with kids who had no disabilities. That was really important. It is called inclusion. That is how my education continued, almost always alongside students without disabilities.
In 2002, I decided on a career in child care. There were plenty of people who said I would never get hired, but I did not pay a whole lot of attention to them. I had high employment expectations and worked to make my dreams come true. I have worked at the YMCA in the child care center for the past ten years. I work with four- and five-year-old children in my community. I love my job!
About six years ago, I moved out of my parents' home and into my own apartment. That was one of the most exciting days of my life! I always wanted to live on my own. I also took an online driver's education course and got my temporary license.
I have been recognized as a good spokesperson or advocate for others who have disabilities. I have been invited to speak at conferences, fundraisers, and schools. With lots of help from my support team at DSAW-Family Services, I have started Andrew's Voice, a motivational speaking business. Check out my website!
Starting a business is not easy, but I am eager to help others who have disabilities. Sometimes I help others by giving them job coaching. Sometimes I help with life skills training. I work at DSAW now with two other self-advocate interns.
I have many people to thank for making my amazing life possible. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell you my amazing story.
By supporting DSAW today, you help our loved ones with Down syndrome to exceed the expectations society sets. You provide transitioning services, job training, fraternal support, driver's education, and so much more.
Andrew has an amazing life. You can give others the same opportunities by donating to DSAW today.
Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin
PS - Consider donating your savings from Black Friday and Cyber Monday to DSAW! It's an easy way to support your local community.