I want to wish all of my followers a Happy Easter and I hope your holiday is blessed and wonderful. For Easter I got coffee, chocolate, a word search, tickets to a show, a book and a lot of cool stuff. I think I won some money on lottery tickets, yay. But that is not what Easter is about, it’s about Jesus rising from the dead and how blessed it is. I hope all of you had a great and safe holiday with your families. Being with your families on Easter is the best way to celebrate Easter.
Today was Dolphy day at LeMoyne College where I am taking classes. It is declared Dolphy day by the “Wizard”. I don’t know how the person becomes the wizard. It is a huge celebration with fireworks the night before, it also means NO CLASSES, of course my class is not today but I went to Dolphy day anyway. There was a huge crowd at the quad with music, dancing, lounging around, playing games and hanging out. I love Dolphy Day, I ran into some people I knew, I had a blast for my first time.My Dad a graduate of LeMoyne always told me about it so I was looking forward to it. It was a great time. Check out this pic and see how much fun I was having. It was a warm and beautiful day for it even though it was windy up there on the hill. I’m already looking forward to next year.
I took my second Psychology test before we went on spring break from LeMoyne. Today was the first day back to school after break and truth be told it feels good to be back in school. We got our second test back today and I got a better grade than the last time. The first test was a 52 but I brought it up to a 78. This time I got a 66 but I did bonus work that will bring that grade up so I am feeling happy about that. To get the extra credit I did have to make corrections but I did it and I am going to hand it in this Thursday. Fingers crossed. I passed this test and I am proud of myself. I planned on working hard and trying my best. I know that is all I could do.
Yesterday, Friday March 21 2014 was world Down Syndrome Day It is day to get together and celebrate the awareness of Down Syndrome or Trisomy 21. It means the same thing. My parents have 46 chromosomes I have 47 but I have an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. So yesterday we celebrated at Destiny USA with Gigi’s Playhouse. We had a lot of things going on. Cross fitters for a cause did a work out of the day, I tried it and now I am feeling the burn now.They also had chair massages for a dollar a minute, raffle tickets and merchandise on sale. During the day Revolutions had bowling free to those with Down Syndrome. Dave and Busters and TGIF’s gave a portion of the bill as a donation to Gigi’s. Billy Bees, and Wonder works again free to all of us with Down Syndrome. I went bowling at Revolutions, that was really fun.. I helped with setting up Gigi’s Playhouse to get our event started. Channel 9 was there with coverage and as well as Time Warner Cable and I had an interview that went well. I made TV last night and this morning. That was awesome. 105.1 was there with Skip Clark and he talked to Ally and spoke about what was going at the mall and she talked about the main points about why we were there. Skip Clark had me on and spoke about my travels and my accomplishments as well. So I made the country radio and TV WOW!!!
Thursday, was an early start to my day. I went to Fayetteville High School that day for an assembly. I am a self advocate and I was one of the speakers. We met early at 7 am. The whole thing started at 8 and ended about 10. The school had three assemblies two of the students that arranged the assembly opened up and spoke about why and what we were doing there. Then another gentleman who goes by the name of Deaf Jeff from the Syracuse Media group told about overcoming his disability of being deaf. He then introduced the first self advocate and she told her personal story, then they showed a short video that two other students had made. After that Jared who graduated from FM shared his story. After he did his. More students came out while two others spoke about shredding the word to end the “R” word and we ripped and literally shredded the derogatory words that we had in our hands. Then the first speaker came out and he said something like remember this label jars not people. We also watched a slideshow in the beginning. We also stood up and recited a pledge that the school had put together. It was well done. We did two more times,more or less the same order of things but the speakers changed and the second one was another self advocate who spoke well. Then the process repeated itself and the third and last assembly we had I spoke and personally thought it went very well. I had claps, laughs and some whistled. At the end people came up to all of us and told us that we did a good job and that we spoke well.
I work at Gigi’s Playhouse and have been for a year, WOW that really went by fast. We had our second annual Gala and that was a huge success. Tonight we worked an Information Fair at LeMoyne College where we talked about the Playhouse, what it is, and what we offered. I first started at the Playhouse (I actually started a year ago November as a volunteer) last March, that is when it turned into a paid position. I love it, so now I have been paid by Gigi’s Playhouse for a year. Man where did the time go.
Next week is March 21st, World Down Syndrome Day, the 21st day of the third month, in honor of the third copy of the twenty-first chromosome. It is a perfect time to raise awareness of our abilities of those of us with Down syndrome. We are having a big 3-21 celebration in the Canyon area of Destiny Mall, if you are in the Syracuse area come on over and say hello.We are starting to prepare for that. We have been pretty busy lately.
I thought it was a good idea to tell everyone a year later that everything is going very well at work. I love working with my boss Debi Emmert, she is awesome, we have a lot of fun together. This is the picture of the two of us.
I work at Gigi’s Playhouse and I was looking at my email, and found something cool. This coach from the North Syracuse school district, Pete Moore is putting together a presentation and is gathering pictures. He is asking an NFL Oakland Raiders player Tyvon Branch, Connecticut basketball player Brianna Stewart, another person AND ME to speak on this panel of athletes. He asked me if I would like to be on the panel and I said absolutely. The presentation is set for May, but he wants all us to meet sometime in April and discuss in further detail about the presentation and set a date in May to speak on our experiences. We have all graduated from the Cicero North Syracuse High school and we are going to speak at a North Syracuse school. I feel very excited and honored to be chosen to speak on this panel with these people. I am looking forward to the event. I can’t wait!
Guess what I think is so cool, being on somebody else’s blog. I mentioned Kelle Hampton in a previous blog, well she is a blogger and I was checking out her blog and I saw pretty cool pictures of me at the gala dancing in my blue dress. Kelle has a son and a daughter and she brought her son with her and some of the other pictures I was with him. Then I was in a group picture with some friends that was also on the blog. Her tag line is Enjoying the Small Things. Kelle took a selfie of her, me and another friend Carrie Bergeron and texted it to Pam who used to work for the NDSS. She said that she misses us and wished that she was with us. How awesome is that!
This afternoon, I went up to Syracuse University to share my personal story with students with all different majors. We talked about Self Advocates and the history of Self Advocates and the reason why we were there. There were at least 6 of us on the panel and most of us had personal stories, the others talked more about self advocacy and what it means to us.
Today is the actual day for Spread the word to end the “R” word. All us touched and talked about that as well. My Mom and my Dad were there and also Julie and Ernie, my Godmothers who are also part of my circle of support. It was awesome to have them there.
It was good to be able to educate others about what self advocates we are and what we stand for. I thought this was pretty cool, someone in the audience was hard of hearing and had sign language interpreters. I was also signing to him myself, so he looked at me and I thought how cool is this!
Me and Kelle
Friday night before the Gala was a pre party to meet Kelle Hampton, an author who wrote the book Bloom about her experience through the birth of her daughter with Down Syndrome. She was the Keynote speaker for the gala. The pre-party was at the Playhouse so we got to meet her then. She said I am a hugger and she hugged me and we became friends. I even gave her one of my business cards. I also got to help her out that night, I took some pictures for her, watched over her son Dash and made sure she had anything she needed. March 1st, yesterday, was Gigi’s Playhouse’s I Have A Voice Gala. It was at the Doubletree Hotel. Friday I got my nails done and my toes a polish change. Saturday was the day to get my hair and makeup done. My Mom got hers done as well as my boss Debi and her boss Ally. We all went to the other place I work, Paparazzi Salon and Day Spa. After me and my Mom were done we came home and finished getting ready into our beautiful dressses and jewels. The gala started out with cocktails at 6, then dinner and the program. The program consisted of three self advocates speaking, Kelle speaking, live and silent auctions and dancing. My Dad helped with the live auction. I spoke the first year of the Gala. I did a lot of mingling.They had raffle tickets and I bought some but didn’t win, oh well. They did this dancing game called Heads and Tails and the prize was an ipad mini. That was fun but there was only one winner and it wasn’t me, fortunately I already have an iPad. The band was Mere Mortals and they were so awesome. Our friend Dave Allyn is in it, we see Dave and Amy at the NDSS Gala. I met tons of people. I met Kelle’s mom and she is nice and I danced with her mom’s husband, that was cool. I met Senator DeFransico, I talked to him for a little while, he is a personable guy. I took a picture with him and he told my Mom that I was lobbying him because I asked him to help with the ABLE act. He said that he would try to do what he can. He is a New York Senator but if he can help, I thought how awesome would that be. I danced a lot last night. By the end my feet were hurting but not bad. I was also tired. But the night was well worth it. When Kelle Hampton spoke she put me in her speech I thought wow, how cool is this. Ally Donofrio spoke about the volunteers, and the gala comittee and they stood up. She also mentioned the employees so Debi and I stood up. I had an awesome night. I had fun. We also watched a local video of our playhouse and the national video of Chicago’s playhouse. Me, my Mom and Dad danced. I wore a royal blue dress, my Mom was in a navy blue dress and she was beautiful, my Dad wore an awesome tuxedo and he was handsome.