Raphael is an easy-going, fun-loving 14-year-old from Lafayette, Colorado. He is known for his sociability and his vast knowledge of Harry Potter lore. He does well in school and is active in the community, often with his much-adored older brother, Eli. Raphael plays a variety of sports- track, soccer, basketball being his favorites- and aspires to master parkour. He roots for the Rockies, Avalanche, Nuggets, and especially the Broncos. Raphael enjoys pizza, movies, reading, and listening to audiobooks and musicals. He likes discussing characters from favorite stories, and he endeavors to be a DJ. At his bar mitzvah, Raphael delivered his own sermon, sharing his personal creed: “Be Brave.”
Hi, my name is Grace Brennan, and I am nine years old. I’m in the third grade and love walking to school with my two big sisters, Audrey & Ava. My parents knew I was going to have an extra chromosome when my mom was only 12 weeks pregnant. They weren’t feeling the luck of the Irish at that moment, but they soon learned why 4 leaf clovers are a symbol of good fortune. With the luck of the Irish now firmly on our side, we like to celebrate BIG on St. Paddy’s Day! READ MORE
Aldo is a 23-year-old amazing young adult from the bay area, California. He is a very social, fearless, and active person who loves to participate in different sport activities from organizations in his hometown. His favorite sports are baseball and basketball, but he also likes to swim and play tennis. His all-time companion is his golden doodle, Marcel; together they light our home with their kind spirit. In his free time, he likes to visit his 8-year-old sister and do activities with her. Other activities that he enjoys are reading about dinosaurs, drawing, and dancing to salsa music.
Clarissa is a feisty and intelligent sophomore at Cherry Creek High School. She loves to learn, hang out with friends, and push her own boundaries. Clarissa has a close and loving relationship with her 2 older brothers. Yes, she is the youngest and the only girl, so she might be a bit spoiled. Aside from school, Clarissa excels at swimming and is a veteran of the Cherry Creek swim team. In 3 events at the state competition of the Special Olympics, she took home 3 medals. Clarissa has been training hard in the gym to make herself stronger. She also loves reading, shopping, dancing, and modeling.
Olivia lives in Maryland by the Chesapeake Bay. She has two older sisters who can’t wait to see what she’s doing next. Olivia’s favorite places to travel are Nashville and New York City. She hopes one day to have an apartment with her best friends. She is currently attending community college learning about women’s health, CPR, and taking dance and martial arts. Singing and dancing are her favorite things to do, along with playing the drums, and participating in bocce ball with Special Olympics. She is loving, funny, and believes everyone should be nice to one another. She truly brightens the day with her smile.
Andrea is 23 years old. She was born in Puerto Rico and lived in Florida and North Carolina prior to moving to Colorado in 2014. She loves bowling, dancing, singing, going out for dinner, and swimming. She stays busy by going to kickboxing class, working at Jack’s Bar and Grill twice a week, and going to day program twice a week. She also participates in additional programs by organizations like Gigi’s Playhouse, Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association, and Special Olympics. She is a donor for the Human Trisome Project. But her favorite activity is the I Love You Dance Parties put on by GLOBAL.
Natalie is 35 years old from Atlanta, Georgia. She has attended and worked at Hi-Hope Service Center for the past twelve plus years, where she is a very active member of Client Council. Natalie enjoys watching movies, dancing, and being a help to others. She graduated from Flowery Branch High School in Georgia in 2007. Natalie’s new love is modeling, as this is her seventh appearance at the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show. She also loves spending time with her family, especially her famous aunt, supermodel Beverly Johnson.
Dejza is a fashion diva and her current aspiration is to be a famous model. She is enrolled in the J. Love Fashion School of Etiquette. Dejza is a self-motivator with a go get it spirit. She loves to participate in Zumba 3 to 4 times a week, and is a Certified Zumba instructor. Dejza has traveled to Washington D.C., where she met with Senators and House Representative to advocate for greater opportunities for her and others like her. When she is not occupied with those things, Dejza enjoys hanging out with her family, riding the Harley, listening to music, TikTok, and coloring for peace of mind and relaxation.
Ari is an 11-year-old boy from Denver, Colorado. He has been full of personality since he was a baby. He loves many sports including soccer, basketball, and golf. Ari, on a team with his dad, won a gold medal in golf at the Special Olympics Colorado Summer Games. He enjoys listening to music, doing ballet with the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and Colorado Ballet, watching Dude Perfect, playing video games, and going to the movie theater. Ari is very funny, and he loves to make people laugh and smile. He does not shy away from the spotlight.
Nick is an amazing 21-year-old native of Greensboro, NC. His outgoing personality and charming smile capture your heart at first sight. Everyone knows him as a fabulous dancer and the life of a party. Nick enjoys playing his bass guitar, keyboard, listening to music, video gaming, swimming, playing sports, traveling and talking on the phone with friends and family. Nick has served as the official escort for the Miss America Scholarship Competition for a local NC pageant for 6 years. He is a proud 2022 graduate of Wheatmore High School and currently works as a barista at A Special Blend Coffee.
Helen Margaret McClain celebrated her golden 21st birthday this year on March 21st, World Down Syndrome Day. Helen, a Colorado native, lives with her mom and dad and has two brothers and one sister-in-law. She absolutely loves to go to church, dance, sing and travel. She recently completed a 15-state southern road trip. Helen works out daily to stay healthy and was a presenter with Coach Sarah Mann for a Global Down Syndrome webinar and for the National Down Syndrome Conference in Orlando this past July.
Hussein is currently a sophomore at the ACE-IT program at VCU. His favorite classes are introduction to anthropology and stage craft. He is currently working at a Honda dealer in his home town because he is passionate about automobiles. He has been a state level special Olympics athlete since 2015. He has competed in soccer, basketball, track, and participated in sailing, tennis and bowling. In his free time, he likes to watch WWE and research different types of animals. He also likes to dance, listen to music, play video games, go on walks, sightsee, and visit museums and aquariums.
Ruby loves hanging with her friends, playing on her phone and listening to music. Her favorite artist is Kelly Clarkson! Ruby is rocking middle school! She is in a band, theatre, and her newest adventure is cheerleading! She loves cheering on her peers and making others feel loved and celebrated. She inspired her family to start Ruby’s Rainbow, an organization that gives college scholarships to people rockin’ that extra chromosome across the nation and takes great pride in helping others with Down syndrome go for their dreams! She is smart, witty, hilarious and continues to make hearts smile everywhere she goes!
James lives in Steamboat Springs with his parents, brother and sister. James and his brother are inseparable best friends who love and support each other through everything. James is an expert downhill skier who skis with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. He also loves biking, golfing, camping, fishing and music. His favorite animal is an elephant. James has eyes that sparkle, a smile that lights up any room he enters, and a hug that will change your life. He sees the good in everyone he meets and is the most loyal friend you will ever know.
Riza is young, energetic and loves socializing and hanging out with her friends. She spreads laughter and cheerfulness around with her genuine conversations. She loves her family and friends and makes sure everyone around her is well taken care of. She inspires others to be beautiful just the way they are. She loves dancing and has participated in quite a few stage performances. Fashion, modelling, and theatre are her other areas of interest. She currently spends most of her time with her friends and enjoys training for running a Café one day. She is a party goer and a big time foody, too.
2016 GLOBAL Ambassador, Lou IV is 23 years old and from Omaha, Nebraska. He currently attends an adult day service work program where he enjoys daily outings, time with friends, working and volunteering in the community, and his absolute favorite part of the day is painting with their arts program. Louie can bust a move to any upbeat song and likes to swim and travel! Family is everything to Lou, and Lou is everything to them.
Alex is 25 and resides in Denver, Colorado. She stays very busy with numerous camps and activities including dance, flag football, baseball, soccer, basketball, sit skiing, cheerleading, horseback riding, painting, and pottery. A memorable moment from this past year was playing basketball during halftime at a Denver Nuggets basketball game. She led the crowd with a drum roll on the big screen! Alex loves her dogs – Bruno and Stitch – and enjoys watching her sisters play lacrosse and cheering on the Denver Broncos. She participates in a weekly book club and is looking forward to attending a day program now that she has completed her post-high school transition program.
I am Danielle Nicole Thoe. I may be 4’4” but that is the only thing small about me. I tell everyone that I love my life because it has been amazing so far. Hannah and I challenged ourselves by doing a tandem skydive. It was amazing to be a part of breaking the Guinness Book of Records sit ski with Grace, of Graceful Wakes. My happy space is being on stage and being National Miss Amazing Miss, and Wisconsin Extreme Dream Team cheerleader lets me be ecstatic. Now, a special guy named Andrew, puts a smile on my heart.
Hope is a friendly 12-year-old who loves music, singing, dancing, and putting on shows. She loves acting out Frozen with her mom, Enid, going to the playground with her dad, Eric, and playing games with her brother, Declan. Hope gives the best hugs and says hello to any baby she meets. She is a great reader, enjoys running with the track team, and loves dancing with PerformAbility at Starstruck Academy of Dance. Hope wants to be a teacher and read to all the children. She is excited to show off her dancing skills in the fashion show!
Kate Winfield is a 14-year-old 8th grader from Seattle, Washington. She loves the runway and has modeled for Nordstrom, Ivivva, and Billy Footwear! Kate is a multi-sport athlete who competes in swimming, gymnastics, cheer, and soccer. She loves dance, drama, and singing, and driving her big brother crazy. She also loves watching movies and pretending she’s one of the characters. One of Kate’s favorite memories is when she walked the runway with Jamie Foxx at the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show in 2017. She loves watching his movie “Annie” and shouts out his name proudly when she sees him on screen!
Vivian is an outgoing 9-year-old from Denver, Colorado who loves being a big sister and staying socially active in our neighborhood school and community. She loves to watch movies (her favorite is E.T.!), sing and dance, and compete with Team Grommet in Special Olympics skiing. Vivian also loves the Denver Nuggets and Jamal Murray is her favorite player. Vivian never turns down an opportunity to hang out with or make new friends and she is always encouraging those around her. With her incredible memory she never forgets a name! Vivian has so much self-confidence and looks forward to learning and doing new things!