I was asked to go to New York City to be on Fox News Business for a Facebook live video stream on Thursday July 27th. They wanted me to come down a day early so I could check the NYC National Down Syndrome Society’s office out. I got in early, had breakfast with Nicole she is the Manager of Grassroots Advocacy. She bought my breakfast as a welcome to NYC. We walked over to the office and I helped out by putting stuff back away in their proper place, breaking down boxes and even got on the computer and worked on spreadsheets. I stayed at the office late but I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning so it was a long day. After that, Josh and I went to get food, and went to the hotel, Josh is the executive assistant to Sara. I had my own room at the hotel that night. I had to meet him the next day with Sara Hart Weir the president of the NDSS. That morning we had our Fox interview. The studio had a team of women who do hair and make up before the interview even started. We did our interview with Matthew Labassi who asked us questions about Medicaid and Down Syndrome, it went so well. It has so many views on Facebook. After that I felt like I was on cloud 9 it was so awesome. I couldn’t believe it. I had an early flight home that evening. It was a pretty cool adventure and my second flight on my own!
I am in Washington DC working out of the NDSS office. So far I like it but will keep everyone posted and let my friends know what my thoughts are about this position. It is a huge opportunity but a lot of questions and decisions to make.
When I was in Washington DC I had offered a huge opportunity for a job as a lobbyist for the National Down Syndrome Society. I would be working at the NDSS office and inside the Capitol. When I had talked to Sara, the PResident of NDSS about the position and moving there it was very exciting but then I realized I needed to personally grow up first. I had never lived alone before. That is kind of scary. When I talked to her to decline the positions, she didn’t want to take no for an answer, so she came up with a solution for me to come down to Washington for a week and test the waters trying the job. I liked that idea so I believe that I am going to Washington the week of July 10th. I am waiting for further details to finalize my travel itinerary as well as the itinerary for the week I am going to be there. From what Sara told me there is something special going on Wednesday, that she wants me there for. I can’t wait to find out more information!
I am a Special Olympic congress member and we had summer games in Sienna college in Albany. I had to pack and be ready to leave Wednesday night. My parents drove me there. As a Congress member I had four workshops to attend to. Two on Thursday and two on Friday before lunch and after lunch. We have been filming the 60 second commercial that my friend Joe is working on. After the workshops we were able to go back and relax for a little bit, then we played pool and games at the dorms we were staying at. I had freedom and independence I did have my own room and I really liked it because I was able to play music in my room and kind of do whatever. On Friday was pretty much the same. We also got to meet these other people (YAC) youth activation committee. We met them during our morning workshop on Friday morning. During lunch we were able to get to know them better and we went to the gym and played more games there. It was interesting to meet them. Every time I passed them we would always talk. At the end of my Congress meeting on Friday I was asked to say a few words on behalf of Neil Johnson our president and CEO of Special Olympics. He is retiring and so I was videotaped saying what Neil means to me. I had to join up with my delegation, moving to a different hall within the college. I found everyone and I was roomed with a friend of mine Jessica, she is awesome. Saturday was a pretty early day for all of us as we got up early to get ready for competition track and field. My coach was Mary Maestri, actually we have a bunch of coaches but each one is assigned a couple of athletes and I was hers. It was kind of different this year my parents came as my parents and not coaches. Friday night was opening ceremonies like always speeches and entertainment. Saturday was preliminaries in the morning I had softball throw and the 50 meter dash. I came in second in qualifying, but when it was time for medals I came in first bringing home the gold medal and a ribbon in 4th place for my softball throw. I was proud and pretty darn sweaty. After we got back, we had dinner first, then we took showers. We went to closing ceremonies and the dance of course. When we did go back, we had a hall party. We had to get up kind of early that morning for breakfast, and pack up all of our stuff. I met up with my parents and drove home, made a coffee pit stop. It felt so good to sleep in my own bed that night. Home sweet home!
I was asked to go away for Summer state games in Albany over the weekend Friday Saturday and Sunday. Not only am I competing I am a Special Olympics Congress member and I have to be there earlier than my delegation. I am here two days previous to competition. I got here Wednesday night Thursday until Friday then I will meet up with my delegation. As a congress member I have some workshops to partake in and other trainings. I have to be up around 7 and meet everyone downstairs by 8:00 and we will walk over to breakfast and start our day. I have independence where I get to have my own key, my card to swipe for food and elevator access. I have my own room without a roommate. I like it but it is also kind of quiet, of course no tv to watch or make noise. Feels kind of good,but weird. On Friday I turn over my key and become an athlete in the games. On Friday I will speak in front of my fellow congress members and a videographer is coming where I get to talk about our president of Special Olympics because he is retiring, I have been asked to say a few words about him. I am looking forward to trying my best and bringing home some medals.
A couple of months ago I applied for a scholarship called Ruby’s Rainbow. Right before I left to go to Albany for Special Olympics I got a yellow elevelope in the mail and my Mom had her phone out to video it as I opened it. OMG, I am so excited I won the 1800. dollars for my college classes. I am taking two classes this upcoming semester so it will help so much. I am taking an English class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Fridays I will be taking my PE class out in Marcellus, I will be bowling. I am looking forward to getting my degree in the future. I am definitely getting closer, with every class I take. Thank you Ruby’s Rainbow!
I was asked by my Congressman John Katko to fly into Washington to be at a round table and speak about the Differently Abled and the work force. Mom and I caught a flight early that day. When we landed we ended up having breakfast right at the airport. Then we both caught a cab over to his building at Longworth, we had some ice tea and hung out for an hour or so before heading upstairs to his new office. He does have a nice big sized space. We were briefed on what was going to happen. They had a van for us to take us to the Capital Candy Jar where the meetings were being held.This is where Mom and I met up with Congressman John Katko. We rode over and the Congressman and I went over what he wanted me to say which was all of the stuff I usually talk about, inclusion in the workplace and everywhere. When we arrived at the Candy Jar, we were greeted by Sara Weir and other members of the NDSS staff. We were led by the owner and co-worker who gave us a tour, The whole event was being live streamed by the Washington Post. We met other co-workers as well as Gina who is a person that happens to have Down Syndrome that works there. When we were finishing up the tour I got to talk in the microphone for the live stream. When we finished the tour, we went up for the round table discussion. Unfortunately shortly before we finished the Congressmen and women had to leave to return to the Capitol for a vote. Mom and I were leaving too from there to go back to the airport. Before we left Sara Weir offered me a huge opportunity of a job offer. I have a big decision to make. She said that she was very serious. My stomach dropped and I am sure my mom’s did too. We ended up flying to Rochester and getting a rental car and drove home. It was a great day!
I found out last week from my friend Debi Emmert about this movie that is shooting here in East Syracuse called Sushi Tushi about how Asia broke into Football. They were asking for unpaid extras so I decided to go over and give it a try and have been there ever since it started shooting the football scenes. I am a fan in the stands. I met the main guy in the movie. I have been getting to know them, talking and having fun, hanging out with them. Wyatt has been calling me a super fan and telling me to come back every day as they shoot. I love every bit of it. I am excited each time when I go. We give each other hugs and they keep asking me to come back. I have been there since they have started calling me super fan. I can’t wait for the movie to show and possibly see me in the movie. I plan on going back until they finish that scene with the football fans. I absolutely love it.
May 7th was my 1 year anniversary of dating my boyfriend Mike Zellar. He is awesome and we love each other. For our anniversary, went to lunch at Texas Roadhouse. Mike and I had a nice lunch together. He bought my lunch, we also exchanged gifts. He recevied cologne and he said that he loves it. That makes me very happy and I am super glad he loves it. I got a necklace from him that looks like a prism kind of. I always wear it and I love the necklace. Mike and I are awesome together and really like spending time together.
After the Track meet on May 20th, we went to church, we had dinner at the Gem and then we went downtown to the Landmark Theater to enjoy a play called Motown the Musical that my Dad bought tickets to. It was a really cool show with tons of music. At first it was a little hard for my Mom and I to see because of people in front of us but after intermission there were empty seats across the aisle and so Mom and I moved across from Dad and really could see well and appreciated it even more. I love going to plays.