Surround yourself with great friends who help CHANGE the world!

In this month’s edition of Brett’s Blog It’s the Friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey, Brett would like you to meet two of his Playhouse friends who are helping to change the world and how society views Down syndrome! They are so AWESOME!! Amanda and Quentyn are so different, but both are active at GiGi’s Playhouse, in their communities and around the world! They’re naturals when it comes to self-advocating and showing the world that individuals with Down syndrome can achieve anything if they’re given the same chance and opportunity as anyone else.

They are changing perspectives and changing lives, but they are just getting started! Stay tuned… my GiGi’s friends and I will change the world for the better. Get to know us, we are awesome!

Hugs from Brett ❤

Amanda will change the world at home and abroad!

Amanda changing the world oversees!
Amanda will change the world, all around the world!

I am so happy for you to meet my good friend Amanda. If you see her at the Playhouse, it’s easy to tell that her favorite program is GiGi U! She is dedicated to doing well in her studies, preparing to intern at the Cafe and being a great example to the other students in her class. At home, Amanda likes to make videos about her dolls (maybe she’ll show you sometime) and her favorite food is Mexican, yum! She especially likes chips and salsa and even has a fun nickname for her favorite dish… ACP, arroz con pollo! I love Mexican food, too!

Amanda’s nickname from her mom is sweetie ❤ and her roommate, Peggy, calls her Chica! Some people don’t think individuals with Down syndrome can live independently, but Amanda is changing those perceptions, too!! One way she can change the world is by showing that independence is possible with the right support! Amanda loves GiGi’s because she can have lunch with so many of her friends. When asked about what she is grateful for about GiGi’s, she said “that’s a good question but mostly I love to learn new things.” Amanda is learning how to cook and to do math. She likes to be around her friends and her favorite teachers at GiGi’s!

Our new friend, Quentyn!

Quentyn can change the world, cool hat or not!
Quentyn showing up and showing off!

I am also happy for you to meet my new friend, Quentyn. He and his family are brand new the the Playhouse! They first started coming at the beginning of this year to take part in the free Speech tutoring program, but will be jumping into lots of fun programs this summer and is especially excited about Music Appreciation where he will learn to play the ukulele. It will be so fun for him to get involved in new things, and since ukulele is so fun, we think you will like it too, and there are still spots open😀

Music can definitely change the world! It is so beneficial to lives of most people, but can be especially impactful for people with Ds. Check out what the DSE Library says about the role of music for individuals with Ds here: https://library.down-syndrome.org/en-us/news-update/05/2/music-music-therapy-musical-abilities-role-music-lives-adults-down-syndrome/

His favorite toys to play with are cars, Quentyn really loves them! Quentyn’s favorite foods are chicken nuggets and French fries (yum on the French fries ❤). Quentyn’s nickname is Booga, which is short for Booger D. Williams, a silly nickname inspired by Billy D Williams who is so, so handsome, just like Quentyn! He loves GiGi’s because there are so many programs that he is excited to try as he gets older. In his short time at the Playhouse, Quentyn has been most grateful for the sense of inclusion GiGi’s offers to everyone who visits!

Brett wouldn’t tell you this himself, but everyone at the Playhouse knows that his example, willingness to try new things and positive attitude is also changing the world! Brett has been involved with so many programs both as a participant and as a leader; his involvement and achievements provide hope to so many families as well as his experience providing invaluable feedback to help the Playhouse grow and improve!

Thank you to Brett, Amanda and Quentyn for sharing your gifts with the Playhouse, we are so excited to see all the ways you change the world!!

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