2018 Youth Honoree
One can only marvel at the obstacles Jaida Robinson has overcome in her seven years. By the age of two, her family was homeless – living in cars, on the streets and at shelters. A concerned relative intervened and took her to GLOW Childcare, where owners Chuck and Deidra Robinson took a shine to her.
“It was clear she had Down syndrome, and no one had done anything to help with her development,” Deidra recalls. “She couldn’t walk. She couldn’t talk. She couldn’t do much of anything.”
The Robinsons offered to keep Jaida for a few weeks to help the family get back on its feet, but a few weeks turned into a few months, which turned into a few years. It eventually became clear that the best place for Jaida was right where she was: with the Robinsons. After a long and difficult process, Jaida became a member of the family through adoption this year.
“She’s been a blessing for us,” Deidra says. “Jaida is such a special young lady, and I’m just grateful we were the ones chosen to be a part of her life.”
When asked if she worried about raising a child with Down syndrome, Deidra admits, “It didn’t cross my mind as a negative. I really didn’t know enough to fear it. I’ve learned though that you have to be an advocate for your child. When people hear ‘Downs’ they have already placed a label on her. I say, ‘Let her reach for the stars. If she lands on the moon so be it!’”
Jaida is now active in ballet and tap classes as well as gymnastics. She is in a non-impaired second grade class. In June, Jaida was chosen as 2018 Little Miss Indiana Black Expo.
“Miss Jaida is now doing anything and everything possible,” Deidra boasts. “No one thought she could do anything, but it turns out she can do everything. We just let her light shine because she was chosen to be something spectacular.”
As it turns out Jaida was the very first kid to enter GiGi’s Playhouse Indianapolis when it first opened its doors in 2015. “GiGi’s is an amazing, phenomenal place,” Deidra gushes. “We often feel alone and it’s nice to go to a place where you can be yourself and just exhale. It’s like an extended family. Plus, it doesn’t cost a dime!”
Jaida’s uplifting story and outlook on life are an inspiration, and we are proud to honor her as the 2018 3.21 Mile Run Youth Honoree.