NDSS Washington Summit

Last Sunday October 1st, I went to Washington DC for the NDSS Leadership summit and it was awesome. On Sunday I was helping to register people for the events for the following days. As part of the staff of NDSS I went to the Buddy walk that morning in Virginia. I didn’t walk I was more helping staff the event and accompanying Sara Weir the President. I was wearing a lanyard for identification. I was told to trade it in for an official NDSS staff pin and shirt. It was awesome. That night we went through Gettysburg. The first thing we did was a meeting about leadership and how to be a good leader. Then got a bus tour and went to the Battle of Gettysburg and got to walk around, taking pictures. It was pretty cool! I was able to meet Sean and Megan from Born this way. They were awesome to hang out with, fun to talk to and be with. On Monday the staff helped the registered families to come into the panel discussion and brief meetings. Sara started out with her presentation. I also got to speak about my new job being a Manager of Grassroots Advocacy. We then had a panel discussion that talked about employment. It went awesome. After that we got to hang out for awhile. That night we had C21 which stood for Chromosome 21. It was a pop up restaurant, where all of us with Down Syndrome got to staff it. We were servers, bartenders, host, and chefs. We did really well. We servers had our tables, we took orders and we ran food to tables. It was so fun and at the end of the event we had a short program where we showed a short video of Law Syndrome and why it holds us with Down Syndrome back. Congresswomen Cathy McMorris Rogers spoke and the new chair Gordon Spoor of the NDSS did as well. After that a huge group of us went across the road and got to hang out with the filming crew. They were filming us during the entire event that night. I was filmed in a close up. That was fun and I liked being a server. We had to dress like servers in an elite restaurant. After the restaurant a huge group went out for appetizers and drinks. We got back to the hotel late after taking an Uber back. The next day we all went to Capitol Hill and a congressional breakfast, then split into our meetings. Most of my meetings were with staffers. My first meeting was with Congressman John Katko, we got to talk to him for a good while. Talked about moving to DC, which I am doing within a couple of weeks. He said that he would take me out to dinner until he found out what I would be making and he said that I could be taking him to dinner. Then my friend Amy Allyn and I came back home together, we had the same flight going to Washington and coming back home. It was so much fun and we had a great time being traveling buddies. It was a great weekend and really nice that Sara kept introducing me as her new colleague, made me feel pretty special!

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