In telling her story, 24-year-old Laura Green shines a light on the challenges of pursuing success with Down syndrome. Sometimes, young people like Green can become frustrated with the “system,” feeling as if their future is planned by others and that they are not always consulted about what they want to do with their lives. More focus can be placed on the disabilities associated with Down syndrome rather than the potentialities available to people with Down syndrome within the proper framework of support and encouragement.
Green took business courses during school, for example, and did not worry about the future at that time. Things were going smoothly and appeared that they would continue that way as she moved forward in life. However, after she left school Green’s progress in pursuing success came to a halt. She recalls: “when it was came [sic]to leaving school nobody looked at what I had achieved when they were planning on what I would do next. I do remember lots of meetings, but if I am honest looking back now I don’t think they really helped. Why? Because nothing ever happened.”
Nothing happened, that is, until Green took matters into her own hands. Instead of relying on a life plan constructed for her by someone else, Green asked herself, with the help of a self-advocacy group, what she wanted to do: “I decided I wanted to work in fashion, not for someone else but I wanted to set up my own business selling fashion accessories. So that’s what I did.” In the video below, Green discusses her success as an entrepreneur.
Indeed, many individuals with Down syndrome thrive when they are given the opportunity to pursue personal goals. As Green notes, the support and encouragement of family and other organizations is important to her success:
I will always need a certain level of support… My family and friends will still be in my life as part of my circle of support. I can go out with them for a meal and say ‘so what did you do at work today? I did… You don’t know how good that sounds to me. I am a businesswoman, a woman who runs her own business, how many other 24 year olds can say that?
Individuals with Down syndrome do not fit into one career mold, because they are not defined by their genetic condition. Just like all of us, young people with Down syndrome have unique interests and talents and employ themselves in an array of occupations. One young man with Down syndrome is a prolific and talented photographer. Some are wrestlers. Another runs a restaurant. Several work in a bakery. Others work at a movie theater. Some are models; others, actresses. All of these individuals had the drive and support to make their dreams come true. The Serendipity fashion business is Laura Green’s dream, and we applaud her for making that dream a reality. Follow Laura on Facebook here.