My name is Caroline Cardenas, and I am 17 years old. I live in Dallas, Texas with my mom, dad, three sisters, and my dog, Luka. My sisters are my best friends: Grace is in college, Emily is going to college this year, and Claire is in high school. They always make time to hang out with me. The whole family loves to play board games, play Wii sports, watch movies, and eat ice cream together!
When I was born, my parents found out that I have Down syndrome. They immediately started working to make sure I could do all the things my sisters could, and to make sure I received the best education. My school, the Notre Dame School of Dallas, has the best teachers! I study all the normal stuff – math and social studies are my favorites. We also learn skills like grocery shopping, doing laundry, and cooking meals. We practice our job skills in the classroom and at workplaces around Dallas!
My closest friends go to school with me, and we have tons of fun together. We go to dance class, Young Life events, and we play sports, like golf, tennis, basketball, soccer, and cheerleading. Our world- famous cheerleaders even performed in the World Special Olympics last year! Proms and dances are the most fun, we love to get dressed up and sing and dance. This year we had to wear masks to the prom, but no one cared – we still had a blast. And with COVID almost over, we get to go to summer sleep-away camp again this year!
One of my favorite things is working at Howdy Homemade Ice Cream once a week, taking care of the store and cleaning up. Because of COVID, we had to take a break from working there, but I hope to start again in the fall. I love learning job skills, and after graduation I hope to get a job earning real money!
My family wouldn’t change a thing about me they love me so much. I have a great school, friends, a future job, and touch wood, I am healthy. But I know that for many with Down syndrome this is not the case. We also know as I get older, I will benefit from GLOBAL’s fight for more research and medical care funding – we deserve to live longer, healthier lives! That is why I am so proud to be the GLOBAL Ambassador. Please join me in supporting GLOBAL so we have a chance to reach our true potential and to live our dreams!