High School, really? Yes, again!
Today, most individuals with Down syndrome graduate from High School. Many then go on to complete a transition to work program. Others will continue their education by attending community college or a four year college.
Be prepared to be surprised!
Some individuals with Down syndrome attend graduate school!
Like all people, individuals with Down syndrome learn and develop at their own rate and in their own way. People with Down syndrome have varied goals for their futures and individual expectations of their roles in the family, school and community.
Think about all the kids you have met over the year that enjoy to play sports. Let’s pick basketball for example. Many kids love to play. Some will keep it as a way of hanging out with their friends, others may play in high school. Others will work hard at their skills and use basketball as a way to get a college education. A few of those kids, who started playing young, will actually make it to the NBA. Their talents, skills, dreams, and goals for their future varied. It is the same for individuals with Down syndrome.
While some continue their education, others find meaningful ways to contribute in their community. Others lead more public lives, like our NBA stars. I’ve been blessed over the years to listen to some of them speak, or read some incredible testimonies.
To be inspired to see the potential of individuals with Down syndrome in a completely different light, I invite you to check out just a few of their stories.
Karen Gaffney – Karen graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Oregon and earned a two-year Associates of Science degree from Portland Community College. She successfully swam the English Channel as part of a six-person relay team. And two years ago, she accomplished her biggest swimming Challenge yet…she swam 9-miles across Lake Tahoe in 59-degree water to raise money for the National Down Syndrome Congress and to show the world that people with Down Syndrome are more alike, rather than different, from everyone else. Karen travels the country speaking to a wide range of audiences about overcoming limitations and about what can be accomplished with positive expectations. Karen tackles any challenge she faces with determination and commitment, knowing she has limits, but not allowing them to limit her drive to succeed.
Tim Harris – In his teen years, Tim began to dream of owning his own restaurant. In October of 2010, the next chapter began and with the help of his family, Tim’s dream of owning his own business came true. Tim’s Place opened its doors in Albuquerque, New Mexico as one of the first and only restaurants to be owned by a man with Down syndrome. Tim recently closed his restaurant in Albuquerque and is relocating to the Denver area to be near Tiffany, the “love of his life”.
Angela Bachiller – In 2013, Angela became Spain’s first city councillor with Down Syndrome. As well as attending council meetings, Angela will be the Popular Party’s representative on Valladolid City Hall’s Disabled Persons Council. She aims to campaign to defend the rights of disabled people, saying she believes that people with disabilities need to play a more active role in politics.