Added: Sherrita Hegland - Date: 23.03.2022 04:02 - Views: 42277 - Clicks: 8542
Our specific intention over the last 30 days was to inspire people to look beyond the diagnosis to see the individual. Our participants all have a full or partial third copy of their 21 st chromosome that alters the course of their development and in some common characteristics associated with Down syndrome. Beyond that, they are NOT Down syndrome!
They are Landon… and Julia… and Camden… and Khali. They are individuals with their own stories, their own successes, their own struggles, their own hopes and dreams. By sharing some of their stories, our hope was that you would see the amazing parts that make up the whole, and that you would be encouraged and inspired to share a message of acceptance.
If you need a smile, Landon has a contagious one to share with you! Currently 11 years old, Landon was born on July 15 th and he lives in Durand with his mom, dad, two sisters, and two dogs! He is a 5 th grader at Durand Elementary School, where he enjoys a very supportive learning community. Some of his other favorite things include bananas, listening to music, and watching movies with dogs in them, of course! If he can find a future job involving canine companions, this dog whisperer is sure to succeed!
When invited to participate in the DSAM Spotlight, this year-old go-getter promptly sat down and independently drafted her entire bio. Her interests are extensive and varied. Family and friends are very important to Julia. Her favorite people are her parents, Dave and Joanne, and she most enjoys hanging out with her sister Grace. Thank goodness for FaceTime! It makes it a little easier when Grace is away at college. I have learned karate and cooking. I have more confidence in my social skills. I like going to a place that is for me and my friends with Down syndrome.
He exudes quiet contentment and genuine gratitude for the gifts in his life, and that part of his character brings so much light to those around him. Josh loves his church, he loves his job, he loves the Playhouse, and he most especially loves his family. Josh is very close to his parents, and revels in the time he spends with his siblings. We also cannot forget his enthusiasm for sports. He is a loyal supporter of the Cubs, Blackhawks, Bulls, and Bears… but his greatest allegiance is to his beloved Cubbies! For more than 20 years now, Josh has been working at Rock Church. He takes great pride in keeping the building neat and clean.
According to his Mom, Josh enjoys his work so much that every single time they leave the building, he makes a point of telling her that he loves his job. In addition to his work life, Josh is also committed to giving back by volunteering at his church, City First. He serves as a coach in Champions Club for children with special needs. His Mom and Dad serve as Host Family for the Friday Friends program, and Josh steadfastly participates in set-up and clean-up for every session. He looks forward to the camaraderie that he shares with the participants and volunteers that show up for each meeting of Friday Friends!
He also loves to help prepare and eat! We are so grateful for the friendships, acceptance and the things we all learn from this very special place! It seems we could all learn a lot from Josh. You know the saying about how great things come in small packages? He watches everything they do, and then he jumps in with both feet. Paying attention and romping after his older brothers is really paying off for Camden as he meets milestones by the minute and becomes increasingly independent. He participates with typically developing children, and his parents said the acceptance he has experienced there means the world to them.
The future is wide open for Camden, but his mom has a feeling he might end up as a teacher or doing something that helps others. Being in a room of families that are like yours just completes us. We have an instant bond. We are so thankful for this connection that the Playhouse brings to families. If our Day 5 Spotlight Participant was hoping to keep his big day a secret for some reason, we would just like to say in advance … Ooooops! In case you lost count, Martin Joseph Marty is one of 14 children, and although you might think it would be easy to get lost in a crowd like that, this birthday boy Excuse me… birthday MAN!
Living in Leaf River with his parents and a handful of his siblings including Michael, who also has Down syndrome , Marty has a tendency to go out and chase his dreams rather than waiting for them to come to him. Armed with the tools and knowledge he gained through GiGi U and an entrepreneurial spirit, Marty started his own business when he was 18 years old.
In addition to being a business owner, this industrious young man has also participated in GiGi U internships at the Rockford Police Department being an Officer is his dream job! He also enjoys hanging out with friends and his siblings —especially Suzie — no offense to the other 12!
His favorite food is pizza; his favorite singer is John Paul Vox Arx; and his favorite color is blue, because… you guessed it… it matches his eyes! He has made friends, worked in several internships which he LOVES, started his own business, gained confidence, and is the nicest person you ever will meet.
This active 2nd grader lives in Rockton with her mom, dad, and all-time favorite person also known as her year-old sister, Brooklynn. Whether its building forts, playing dress-up or Barbies, dancing to music videos, or picking her up when she falls, Brooklynn is always there for her… and that means the world to Kendall! Okay, maybe not as cool as Brooklynn, but on a KK short for Kendall Kathryn scale of 1 to 10, they are a solid 11 all day long! There were so many things we did not know about raising with Down syndrome. The playhouse helped us find those secrets and work to support Kendall in so many ways.
Steve knows what it feels like to work hard to earn both of those things. Growing up with parents Ken and Evelyn and younger siblings Sheehan and Scott, Steve was always encouraged to dream, reach, grow and achieve. A graduate of Jefferson High School, Steve enjoys listening to music, doing jigsaw puzzles, and spending time with family, friends, and his girlfriend Erika.
He is very close to his brother and sister, and he takes great pride in being an Uncle to Miles and Kenna. He also likes working out at the YMCA his dream job is being a trainer there and participating in programs through the Rockford Park District. As a result of the latter, he has developed quite a knack for cooking and loves to try out new recipes at home. Playhouse families now have a multitude of resources.
They have support, and they know they are not alone. Even three -year-olds gotta have their jam! Hands down, however, her favorite person is her year-old cousin, Adyson. Not surprisingly, her favorite part of the program is singing!
Despite the obvious wet blanket that Covid has thrown on so many typical senior year activities, Colleen has managed to remain upbeat and enthusiastic about what the future has in store for her. With a clear idea of the direction she wants to go, Colleen is chasing her dream. Her goal is to become a Paraprofessional in a school setting. To that end, she is currently participating in a training program at Fairview Early Childhood Center, which is also where she attended preschool herself.
She has also completed several college campus tours and is actively studying for her Paraprofessional exam. Staying on-track is important when you live in an active, on-the-go household. In addition to hanging out with her family and her pups, Colleen has worked at Beef-A-Roo for two years and she volunteers at the Discovery Center Museum. Among her other favorite things are pop music, orange the color… not the fruit! You might think that a year-old whose favorite color is GRAY would be someone with a dark or pessimistic outlook.
On the contrary, with a smile that starts in her eyes and can brighten any room, Khali is more like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. Like every other teenager in America, Khali loves to be on-the-go! Her favorite things to eat are French fries and chocolate shakes salty-sweet combo… good choice, Khali! Go, girl! The graduate of Harlem High School has varied interests, but if he had to pick a dream job, it would be a toss-up between being a Hollywood star, being a clothes deer, or playing for the Chicago Cubs.
It should be noted that Sam is always willing to lend a hand when there is work to be done at the Playhouse, routinely volunteering to vacuum and help clean up after almost every program he attends. The middle of three children, year-old Sam is sandwiched between his sister Heather and his brother Dominic. Sam also loves to watch his Cubs and Bears shocking! Sam always looks forward to participating in Playhouse programs and spending time with the staff, volunteers, and friends that he has gotten to know so well over the years. She lives in Rockford with mom, dad, older sister Maddy 16 , and older brother Toby 7.
If you need to feel better about this crazy world, spend a few minutes on Moments with Mavis! LMNOP helped her communicate with us before she could even utter words. Michaela is doing an amazing job of blazing the trail into the teen universe for her younger sister, Mady age On a more serious note, Michaela is also setting an excellent example by finding ways to make a difference in her community.
She was also volunteering at the PAWS animal shelter, where she loved spending time reading to the cats who were waiting to find their forever homes. Maybe she will combine the two and be a YouTube Fashion Expert! Reach for the stars, Michaela! Regardless of the program, her favorite part of going to the Playhouse is seeing all the friends she has made there.
A little less than two years ago, I was still fairly new at the Rockford Playhouse, and I asked Stacey to help me place a participant in my head. He is the younger brother to sister, Emily, who lives in Portland, Oregon. If his dreams were to become reality, James would transfer his passion for writing into a full-time career. His dream job is to become a screenwriter for movies. One of his favorite activities is dancing with the Rockford Dance Company staff when they offer classes for the GiGi U students.
Though he maintains that his dream job would be playing baseball in the Major Leagues, he also gets pumped up by his favorite WWE wrestlers, backs the Pack all the way Go Green Bay! Way to represent, Jeremy! He enjoys his job working at the McDonalds at Route and , and he has been with them since around the time he graduated from Harlem High School in Jeremy has two sisters and one brother and lives in Machesney Park. Although he technically shares a house with his parents, he happily lives a very independent lifestyle in a separate apartment on a different level of the house.
He cooks his own meals, washes his clothes, cleans and decorates his apartment, and loves taking care of his puppy, Miss Molly! In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys reading, playing games, and watching sports of course!
About two years ago, Jeremy was a bit nervous to present his first research project for Literacy.Looking for down to Rockford fun single man
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