My name is Jillian Berube. I am 23 years old. I have 2 brothers, a wonderful mother and father, and a dog named Buffy. I love fashion and I love working at TJMAXX as an associate. I also love to volunteer working with children at the Extended Day Program at J.R. Biggs Elementary School in Ashburnham, at the MOC Head Start Program in Fitchburg, and the Theater Bug summer camp at Mount Wachusett Community College. All my life I have participated in sports like swimming, baseball and soccer, and I compete in Special Olympics. I take classes at Mount Wachusett Community College so I can keep learning. During high school I participated in Drama Camp and Drama Club and I have been in many musicals in high school and shows at Theater at the Mount. In my free time I write my own lyrics, go to dances, go kayaking, have sleepovers and Skype with my friends.
I am involved in a Self-Advocacy group, and the North Central Citizen’s Advisory Board for the Department of Developmental Services. I also served as a self-advocate on a steering committee for Massachusetts Families Organize for Change’s central region.
I am learning and practicing skills that will help me become more independent because some day I would like to share an apartment or a house with my best friends.
I am so lucky to have amazing things about my life. Last year I wrote some lyrics about my life that will be published by Woodbine House in 2013. The song that I chose to write talks about the person who I really am and the things I want to do in my life. I am a very hard worker and try to succeed in all the things that I do. I look forward to my involvement with the MDSC Self-Advocate Advisory Council, a new chapter in my journey!
Hi, my name is Ben Majewski. I grew up in Newton. I just recently transitioned out of the Newton Public School system. I attend the transitional scholars program at MassBay Community College which supports students with disabilities. I started my third year there in September 2012.
In addition to my job as a Resource Specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, I work on the grounds crew of the Boston Red Sox. On Thursdays and Saturdays, I also work at a restaurant in Newton, an Irish pub called O’Hara’s. I volunteer in the dining room at Rosie’s Place, a shelter for women in Boston.
I had the same position at Children’s Hospital for two years that I have now at Mass General. I like working with families!
I enjoy public speaking. I was the keynote speaker at the March 2011 MDSC conference in Worcester, MA. I also spoke at the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group conference in July 2012 in Washington, D.C. I give talks to elementary school students with the Understanding our Differences Program in Newton, MA.
For fun, I like playing basketball, golf and skiing. I competed in the Special Olympics golf tournament in August 2012 and won a gold medal.
Growing up with Down syndrome means that some people might look at you differently but you can still do a lot of the same things other people do. Sometimes you need extra help.
My name is Kate Bartlett, and I am a 25 year-old college student at Middlesex Community College. I graduated high school at eighteen, passed the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) Test on my first try in tenth grade, and have spoken at various conferences and events including the MDSC Annual Conference, the MDSC Educator’s Forum, the NDSC Annual Conference in Atlanta, and Boston College. I testified at a US Senate hearing in Washington, D.C. in 2006. I am also the recipient of the NDSS’s Voices Award.
I benefited from IDEA and Massachusetts Chapter 766. I was educated in the same public schools and regular education classrooms as my brothers and friends. Growing up, I participated in girl scouts, sports, dance classes and chorus. In high school, I earned four varsity letters in swimming, performed and traveled with the high school chorus, and attended every dance and prom. I am the recipient of Arlington High’s Thompson Scholarship, Ruth Ann Santino Memorial Scholarship, and the NDSS’s Joshua O’Neill and Zeshan Tabani Scholarship. I held jobs in high school during summers and school vacations.
I have one class left to complete an associate degree in Liberal Studies. As part of my degree I have taken many theater courses and that is where my interest lies. I have performed in a number of theater productions including MCC’s Into the Woods, and A Midsummer Nights Dream. I have also worked backstage as set crew. I take two dance classes and work out at my local gym. I work part-time in the human resource department of AQUENT LLC, in Boston, MA. At present, my goals are to complete my associate degree, continue acting in community theater productions and at some point, live independently.
Philip Donahue was born on Christmas day, and is the youngest of 10 children. Philip began his education at the Lark’s Nest nursery school and then went on to Lowell public schools through the ninth grade. His high school education was at the Greater Lowell Vocational Technical High School in Tyngsboro, MA where his course was in Maintenance.
Philip has had a variety of jobs since his graduation from GLVTHS. His first job was for the James L. Cooney Insurance Company where he was a maintenance worker. He then went to work at the Courthouse Fitness Center on the cleaning staff. For 14 years now, he has been employed by Demoulas/Marketbasket grocery chain as a bagger and Customer Service Representative. He works five hours a day, five days per week.
Philip enjoys training for and going to the Special Olympics where he participates in track and the javelin. He serves as a Client Board Member of R.A.R.A. (Remarkable, Active, Resilient, Adults) and participates in many of their activities. He also serves on the Advisory Committee of the GLVTHS. He is a member of the Mill City Workout Center where he trains and works out three times per week.
Philip loves to watch old movies and wrestling on TV and anything to do with Harry Potter. He loves to email all of his brothers and sisters and Google everything on his computer. He also loves to spend time cleaning his room and arranging and re-arranging things.
My name is Chris May and I am 22 years old. I passed the MCAS and graduated from Newton South High School in 2008. After High School I attended the Riverview School and the Cape Cod Community College for 2 years. I am currently living at home, taking classes at the Mass Bay Community College for Web Design and working at the local Star Market three days a week. When I am not working or at school I enjoy taking pictures and playing tennis. I am a member of the Handi Racket tennis team. I started taking pictures for the Newton South Track, Football and Baseball teams when I was a sophomore in high school and have continued to enjoy taking pictures ever since. I also like taking pictures of nature and people.
Melissa Joy Reilly
Melissa is a self-advocate, a Special Olympics athlete and a Special Olympics Global-Messenger. She graduated from the Middlesex Community College Transition Program in 2010 and continues to take classes there. Melissa is an intern at the State House for Senator James Eldridge and a classroom assistant at the Learning Program of Boston.
As a self-advocate Melissa makes presentations about various aspects of her life to many different organizations. Melissa has presented the keynote address at many events. Through public speaking Melissa shows the world that people with intellectual difference are very able and have dreams just like everyone else.
In 2005 she represented the USA as an alpine skier at the Special Olympics World Games in Nagano, Japan and received a silver medal in the slalom. In May 2010 Melissa was inducted into the Special Olympics Hall of Fame at a gala held at Boston University’s Agannis Arena.
Melissa is looking forward to living independently and continuing to be an advocate for people with Down syndrome.
My name is Louis Sciuto and I am 22 years old. I love to work and had many jobs while I was in the North Andover High School. I worked at Ironstone Farm with horses and did bagging at Market Basket. I also did cleaning at a nursing home and volunteered at the MSPCA. I love dogs. When I went to LABBB I worked in an office and a kitchen. Now I am working at the North Andover Youth Center Camp as a counselor and am helping in a florist shop. I also work in my Dad’s dentist office. CLASS, Inc. where I also go is helping me to find a full time job maybe in a movie theater or a veterinary clinic, so that I can work with animals again.
When I am not working, I go to an independence class, see movies with my girlfriend, and hang out with my friends. I like to shoot hoops, ride my bike and play video games. I have two sisters, Laura, who lives in New York City, and Liza, who is in college in Baltimore.
My name is Ashley Wolfe. I live on my own, and I do everything myself including taking care of my personal basic need to be practicing stress management skills. I love doing expressive, creative art work and poetry writing. In my free time I also like doing active exercising and cooking and eating organic/ soy food. I love doing relaxation and meditation techniques and socially connecting with other people (having social dates and going out).
What I do for work is important because of the field that I'm in and the type of research that I do: Participatory Action Research. I play a very important role from within the Institute for Community Inclusion where I work. I like it because it is what I want to do. It is what I believe in- making better ways to improve the lives of all young people with ID/DD in the Commonwealth and doing cutting edge research and making outcomes for every person that has a ID/DD. To make a better world to live in.
I have many accomplishments. The ones that stand out the most for me was that I got the chance to win my very first ever National Arc Award in Denver, Colorado. When I was given this I was in shock but the feeling was truly amazing because I was the first person with a ID/DD to actually receive it. This was huge! I was also presented with a Proclamation from the New York State Senate, starred in ‘Jewel’ with Farrah Fawcett, and starred in ‘Mr. Blue Sky’. You can click here to see a trailer of the movie Mr. Blue Sky and you can own it for just $20.00.
I attended to a two year program at Lesley University called the Threshold Program and I was the second person with Down syndrome to graduate on time. I received a certificate in business services. I also attended Cortiva Muscular Institute for massage therapy for one year and got a certificate of completion. I graduated from there and have my own table and books.