1Katie Higgins (Zumba Teacher)
Katie Higgins is now 23. Despite her difficulties, she became a Zumba® instructor. When Katie's brother died of cancer, she and her mother started taking classes to fight depression. Their instructor, Amanda Laycock, saw something special in Katie and starting giving her special classes on her own. "I just watched with amazement," Mary remembers. "From then on, there was just no holding Katie back."
In summer 2012, Katie passed her exams. Today, she teaches classes at Halifax College and Elim church in Sowerby Bridge.
Katie is not the only Zumba teacher who happens to have down syndrome. Take a look at this amazing video from another teacher:
(Source 1 | Source 2)
2Zhou Zhou (Conductor)
He was born with Down syndrome on 1979 in Wuhan, Hubei province. His IQ is just 30% that of a normal person. He does not know his age or recognize currency, yet he knows all the parts of the instruments in a symphony.
As a boy, Zhou Zhou went to rehearsals with his father, a cellist with the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra. He was always quiet in the rehearsal hall, listening to the music. When the orchestra rested, he would take the stage and practice conducting.
One day, a documentarian noticed Zhou Zhou miming the conductor's movements, as he directed a rehearsal of Bizet's overture from Carmen. His assistant jokingly asked Zhou Zhou if he would like to conduct the piece, and the boy picked up the baton. The orchestra went along with it— a stunned silence followed his performance, and the rest is history.
(Source 1 | Source 2)
3Ayelén Barreiro (Dancer)
4Noelia Garella (Kindergarten Teacher)
Noelia is 29 years old and holds a Bachelor of Economics and Management Organizations with a concentration in tourism, hospitality, and transportation. She says that "there is no prejudice towards me. When I started working, both parents and kids were happy. We give the kids milk, lunch, and snacks; we have a great time at school." (Source)
5Tim Harris (Restaurant Owner)
Back in 2010, Tim's dream of opening up a restaurant came true and with the help of his parents, who were able to help him create Tim's Place, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Harris calls his restaurant the "world's friendliest" — it is known for its breakfast, lunch and hugs. Harris has embraced some very famous people like American Idol winner, Jordin Sparks, and the iconic Stevie Wonder. He's even given President Obama a big hug at the White House.
In 2016, Harris announced he is closing his restaurant to be near girlfriend Tiffani Johnson, who also has the genetic condition. (Source 1 | Source 2)
6Pablo Pineda (Actor)
Pineda lives in Málaga and holds a Diploma in Teaching and a BA in Educational Psychology. He was the first student with Down syndrome in Europe to obtain a university degree. In the future, he wants to make his career in teaching, instead of acting.
Pineda currently works with the Adecco Foundation in Spain, giving presentations at conferences on the labor integration plan that the foundation is carrying out with him. (Source)
7Angela Bachiller (Councilwoman)
Thirty-year-old Bachiller took her seat on the city council of Valladolid in 2013. Her appointment has been hailed by organizations that support people with Down syndrome as a significant step towards the “normalization” of people with this genetic condition. It's one of several, positive steps forward that people with intellectual disabilities have made in the last few years. (Source 1 | Source 2)
8Madison Tevlin (Singer)
The video features captions about the obstacles people with Down syndrome face, including a harder time projecting their voice.
9Madeline Stuart (Fashion Model)
After losing 44 pounds, she embarked on a lifelong dream—modeling.
Stuart became the second model with Down syndrome to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week in September 2015. Afterward, she traveled to Rochester, NY to appear in the EverMaya Fashion Show at the Midtown Athletic Club. Stuart is the face of EverMaya, a socially conscious fashion company whose products are handmade in Guatemala. (Source)