This week, as part of our Participant Spotlight Blog Series, we are pleased to feature Viola Trentalange. Viola is a kind friend and talented artist and singer. We hope you enjoy getting to know Viola as much as we enjoy having her as a part of our community!
When did you join the GiGi’s NYC community?
I joined GiGi’s NYC around one year ago.
How old are you?
I am 23 years old.
What GiGi’s NYC programs do you attend?
I attend Monthly Magic Mondays, Community Chorus, TeenTastic, TeenTastic Night Out, Best Buddies with Columbia University, and the Speech Clinic with NYU. I also participated in the T21 Photoshoot, the Sports Clinic at Marymount, the Halloween Party in Central Park, and the Fashion Show.
Which programs have meant the most to you and why?
I love all of them. I enjoy singing in the Community Chorus very much. Andy is a great TeenTastic leader. I enjoy laughing with everybody and listening to their stories. They are all so much fun. I loved modeling in the Fashion Show and the photoshoot we had in preparation for the show was awesome. I’ve always wanted to be in a photoshoot and Fashion Show. The Speech Clinic is also very important to me because it helps with my stutter.
What does GiGi’s NYC mean to you?
The programs are fun, interesting, and very helpful, especially the Speech Clinic and TeenTastic.
What have you gained from our programs?
I have met new friends and they are very nice to me and to each other. I like that. I like that it’s okay for me to stutter and that there is always someone there to help me.
What do you look forward to doing at the Playhouse once we can safely gather there again?
I want to see and meet everybody. I want to talk to them in-person. I want to go out with them.
How do you enjoy spending your free time?
I love to draw a lot using my stencils. I also listen and sing to my music on Spotify. I dance to music videos on YouTube and watch shows on my computer. I am a huge Jojo Siwa fan too. Sometimes I watch NCIS, The Property Brothers, The Food Network, Say Yes to the Dress, and my old DVD movies.
What achievements are you are proud of?
I am proud of my jobs. I used to bag at the grocery store. I stocked in Burlington Coat Factory and a game store. I worked at a recycling place in Connecticut. I prepared and delivered foods as a part of Meals on Wheels. Before COVID, I volunteered restocking books at several libraries.
What do you want the GiGi’s NYC community to know?
I want people to know I love having Down syndrome. It’s my life. I enjoy myself a lot. I can do what other girls do too. I can sing and dance, go to parties, shop, and have my hair and nails done. I want to be an artist and a fashion blogger.
What would you like to see from GiGi’s NYC in the future? Do you have any ideas for new programs or special events?
Maybe we can do arts and crafts and then sell what we make so we can have a job. We can also make coffee and bake some goodies to sell too. Maybe we can have a Down syndrome shop too. My mom can help with that.
Viola, we are incredibly inspired by your beautiful words and aspirations. You can achieve anything you set your mind to and we are so proud of all your accomplishments and job experiences. We are truly fortunate to have you as a member of our community. Keep up all the great work!