Archive for March 20th, 2017

Writing essays, calculating fractions, and studying history— these are what fill a typical middle-schooler’s day.

But, Wednesday afternoon seven middle-school students joined forces with Global Down Syndrome Foundation to work towards a goal: get signatures for Global’s Petition of Support for Down syndrome research. And, the young scholars more than accomplished this. For two hours, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders from Stanley British Primary School (BPS) gathered 185 signatures at Lowry Town Center. The students weren’t alone in their efforts. Global guided them, and 3 self-advocates palled up with the students— a collaboration that was helpful and fun for everyone involved.

This teamwork originates from Global CEO and President Michelle Whitten’s daughter, Sophia, who attends Stanley BPS. Sophia’s homeroom class decided to do a Service Learning Project to learn about Down syndrome and why research for it is so important. Sophia also happens to have Down syndrome.

The students were enthusiastic to have a hands-on approach to understanding more about Down syndrome. Prior to the petition signing the students wrote speaking notes and role-played to prepare. And, their preparation paid off. Overall, there were positive reactions and the people to turn down signing the petition were far and few.

The face-to-face interaction students and self-advocates had with the community was successful in helping Global gain strides to our overall goal of 5,000 signatures. While Global made leaps in the number of signatures, we are still short of our target. Now more than ever it’s important to show lawmakers their communities support Down syndrome research. Help us reach our goal so we can present a compelling petition in D.C. later this year!


Local media outlets highlighted the collaboration between Global and Stanley BPS to gain signatures. Whitten, Sophia , and Sophia’s classmate Addie Boyer all sat down with 9News to discuss the petition. Sophia and Addie explain why their class was involved in gathering signatures. You can watch the interview here!

Dr. Tom Blumenthal, executive director for the Linda Crnic Institute – a Global affiliate, and  Whitten also discussed the importance of World Down Syndrome Day and the details of Global’s WDSD event on March 21 with CBS 4. You can watch the discussion here!