Being a part of GiGi’s first as a sibling provided me with a unique perspective in all of the jobs I was given during my internship.
My family and I have been a part of the GiGi’s Playhouse family since I was in middle school when we were first introduced to the amazing work they were doing for individuals with Down syndrome. We were more than thrilled to start bringing my younger sister Meredith, who has Down syndrome, to programs at the Playhouse. I continued volunteering for various programs throughout high school and wanted to stay involved, I created and ran my own program during my senior year. That unique experience of program leading inspired my desire for an even more consistent role at the Playhouse so when I was introduced to the volunteer internship opportunities offered, I was more than eager to participate. Having grown up in the Playhouse and with a sibling with Down syndrome, this internship role felt like more than a natural fit. Being a part of GiGi’s first as a sibling provided me with a unique perspective in all of the jobs I was given during my internship. This perspective was most beneficial in jobs such as literacy tutoring and program planning. Being perceptive to the literacy struggles of my sister, I felt as though I was hypersensitive to the unique learning patterns of our friends and therefore was able to be more successful as a tutor in tailoring lesson plans and learning tactics. When creating lesson plans for programs, I was able to use my past and current experiences with my sister throughout each of her developmental stages to create uniquely customized plans that were both purposeful & fun. Growing up with my sister created a lifelong passion to pursue a career in work with individuals with Down syndrome and GiGi’s Playhouse has been such a huge part in nurturing that passion and seeing ways I could physically achieve that goal. This internship experience has been one of the single most impactful and best experiences of my life and has not only helped solidify my passion working with my friends at GiGi’s, but encouraged me to continue pursuing my dream career working with individuals with Down syndrome full time.