2014 Ambassador Katherine Felicia Norton

Katherine Felicia NortonMy name is Katherine Felicia Norton. I am 43 years old, and I live in Washington, DC, where my mom, Eleanor Holmes Norton, represents the District of Columbia in Congress. I love to dance, do puzzles and perform in pantomimes at the Art and Drama Therapy Institute and show everyone how capable and fun I am.

When I was born, my parents were surprised to learn that I had Down syndrome. It was suggested to my mom and dad that they might consider an institution for their newborn. They were furious and found that idea absurd. “This child is not going anywhere, except home,” my mom said. She has always been a big advocate for human and civil rights for all people, including the differently-abled.

My grandma, Blanche Norton, was a big help to me growing up, as was my little brother, John. I graduated from high school, where my mom spoke at my graduation, and I continue to live with her on Capitol Hill, where Ms. Howard has been caring for me when my mom is at the Capitol for the past 20 years.

Sometimes I have trouble expressing my feelings in words, but I have no trouble expressing myself on stage. I attend the Art and Drama Therapy Institute in Northeast Washington, where I take part in drama lessons, music sessions and art workshops. I especially love Japanese theater. At first, I was shy about performing in front of others and afraid, but I have come out of my shell and now I can’t wait to get on stage!

I like to go to the movies and get dressed up for plays. I also love to spend time with my family and friends, go shopping and help with chores like getting the mail. I love my family, especially my mother, my father, my brother, and my new nephew.

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a great organization that helps people like me who happen to have Down syndrome and our families. Please support their efforts to improve lives through research, medical care, education and advocacy!

My name is Katherine. And this is my story. So far…