This week, we are thrilled to introduce Joyce Gottbetter, the Vice President of the Board of Directors at GiGi’s Playhouse NYC! While new to our Board, Joyce has already contributed so much to our community and has quickly become part of our family. Please enjoy the below Q&A with Joyce!
How and when did you first get involved with GiGi’s Playhouse NYC?
I became involved with GiGi’s Playhouse NYC in the spring of 2020, right during the rapid expansion of COVID-19. Because of the timing, I have had very few occasions to engage live with the community, meeting primarily virtually.
Why did you decide to join the Board of Directors?
I went through the interview process to become a Board Member and I was thoroughly impressed by the passion and the authenticity of the current Board Members. They were so genuine and committed to the community and its mission, that I really wanted to be a part of GiGi’s NYC as well, and to make a positive impact on this community and on the world.
What does Down syndrome awareness and acceptance look like to you?
A world of true Down syndrome awareness and acceptance to me means that the members of our community and all individuals with Down syndrome are supported in a way that allows them to live to their full potential. Also, I look forward to the time when we live in an inclusive world that accepts and embraces all people, and in which we celebrate all our differences and all our similarities.
What from our community are you most proud of?
I am proud of how supportive GiGi’s Playhouse NYC is of our community for individuals with Down syndrome and their families and caregivers. At our core, we are diverse and inclusive, and we are passionately committed to our mission to educate, inspire, and believe. And finally, I love the fact that we work to make the world more inclusive and accepting of not only the Down syndrome community, but of all people.
How do you enjoy spending your free time?
Our family is passionate about traveling, especially internationally. We have lived in Shanghai, China for five years, and during that time, we traveled to a different country during every holiday. I caught the international travel bug from that experience. I also enjoy being outdoors, running, kayaking, and boating on the Long Island Sound, among other of my favorite outdoor activities.
What do you look forward to doing at the Playhouse once we can safely gather there again?
I cannot wait to be together live with the GiGi’s Playhouse NYC community. I had a small glimpse into this at our Halloween party this year and I absolutely loved meeting and engaging live with our members and their families. What an incredible group of people! I look forward to being together and supporting each other in the days ahead.
What do you want the GiGi’s Playhouse NYC community to know?
I would like the GiGi’s Playhouse NYC community to know how humbled and appreciative I am, as a Board Member, to be a part of this community. The heart-warming joy that comes from engaging with our community members cannot be described in words. Together, we will surely make an impact in the world, making it more inclusive for all people! Also, I would like the community to know that the Board is fully committed to bringing programs and initiatives to GiGi’s Playhouse NYC that enable all of our community members to realize their full potential!
Joyce, we are truly inspired by your words and are humbled to have you as a part of our community. Thank you for the tremendous value you have already added to GiGi’s NYC!