I was in Washington on Sept 6th for an extra day because I originally had a flight the night before from NYC but it was delayed so long that a decision was made that I take the train back to DC with staff and fly out of DC in the morning. The flights were full so I ended up leaving in the evening. That flight was 3 hours late so I got home around 11pm. I was able to stay at President Sara Weir’s house again and I was in the NDSS office working today. I had a lot of fun. Yesterday I was able to participate in a photo shoot. It was really awesome and enjoyed myself I got to wear my yellow dresss and even better I got to wear Sara’s fringed high heels that looked so cool. I met tons of other self-advocates and had dinner with them the night before. I really did enjoy myself. I was glad that I was able to go and have fun. At the photo shoot they were doing still pictures and a video. I did the video piece how awesome was this. They had asked me to sign the lines and speak them too. It was cool that they utilized my skills.
I got a call from Heather Dougherty from SUNY Cortland to come and speak to her class, I have done this in the past, speaking to her class of students, teachers and future teachers and I will be showing my video of my accomplishments and speaking about my abilities, my accomplishments. I am looking forward to it and sharing all of my news with them. It has been awhile since I had a public speaking engagement.
More exciting news happening here. My parents and I traveled to Washington DC about my upcoming job. I am excited about starting. I will be a lobbyist on Capitol HIll knocking on doors and such. Here is the catch though, it means moving to Washington and leaving behind everything back at home in Syracuse. It would be hard but I am willing to do whatever it takes. It is a journey worth embracing. So we came down to meet Dr. Summar and her daughter Rachel, who I really like. I could be moving into their home, doing my job within the DC office, I may be traveling . Here is the super cool part. Colleen Hatcher asked me to do a photo shoot on Tuesday so I am traveling in style with her and Sara Weir the president of the NDSS going to New York City from D.C. I am going to New York City on a train. My first time riding in one and I am loving every minute of it. Like Colleen said any kind of traveling like this with Sara is going in style and I so agree. I am a self advocate, I get to be a model getting my picture taken. I then travel home on my own that night, the last flight of the night. I then go back to NYC for the Buddy walk but I will let you all know about that and everything else NDSS as soon as my support systems are in place.
I have been having a busy summer lately, I have been in my pool a couple of times when the weather cooperates. I went to New York City with the National Down Syndrome society and talked about my new job offer on Fox News Live also talked about Medicaid.
I am still dating my boyfriend Mike.
I recently just got back from summer camp at Casowasco. I did some swimming, kayaking, campfires, worships and singing. I went on a hayride. Lots of fun I even got to celebrate my 30th birthday there, which was pretty awesome, tons of fun. I celebrated before and after camp, definitely a week long and still continuing.
I am still an avid reader, I can still read a book a week. LOL I think my mom can honestly out read me now, she has been reading a lot. She recently retired from work and we did celebrate her success. She was pleased. My summer was and currently is awesome and I am really enjoying it.
We are waiting for some information from NDSS about a visit there to check out some living arrangements for me, definitely something safe and close to a church and stores, lots to think about but I can’t wait!
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!