Iris and Jamie welcomed their third child - a lovely little girl, named Ava, on July 6, 2017. She is a happy, and energetic new addition to their family! Our little co-founder Samantha is currently rockin’ the second grade in her school in the Bronx. She is in a self contained class, and she loves reading books and solving puzzles in class! She is a caring, and bossy big sister - and is never too shy to express how she feels! She loves to make video interviews! We have a future newscaster on our hands! She also loves to do her chores and feed her pets!
Marilyn is now a big sister too! Her father and I welcomed little sis Penelope into our family on May 16, 2018. I am learning how to navigate the world as a mom with two kids now, and it is not easy by any means! She is already saying some words, like yelling “MAAAX,” to call her favorite person, my dad. Marilyn is currently rockin’ the 1st grade at an all girl Charter School in Manhattan. We are very grateful she is included in this awesome school community. Outside of school Marilyn still loves being in the water and making up and learning new dance moves!
Okay, that was a long update, but what’s next for T21 Rocks!???!!?!?! We are gearing up for our first meeting in over a year!!!!! We are looking forward to reuniting with our community and sharing helpful information with other local families. Iris’ has a background in the medical field, and I have a background in education. We are looking forward to having meetings where we can share knowledge and resources with other families!
Do you have knowledge or a passion you would like to contribute? We are also looking to connect with other professionals who would like to host meetings alongside us and share their expertise with our community. If that sounds like you, drop us a line!! We have been so fortunate to work with outstanding professionals and therapists, and we look forward to growing our network, and getting to work with even more amazing people in the years to come!
Where are we going to go?!?!? We are so grateful for Children’s Aid Society for hosting our previous meetings! For now, we will continue to hold meetings at their Harlem location. We are currently reaching out to other venues for future meetings and gatherings with our community members. If anyone has any leads, feel free to email or call us or drop a comment below and tell us about it!
T21Rocks! is important to us because of Samantha and Marilyn. Both born on the same day in the same state with Down Syndrome. None of us knew what would happen next! But our kids led all of us down a path of service - and led us to each other. We have a shared vision for the future. A future where our children will work and no one will think it is weird or odd, they will just be seen as ordinary employees like anyone else. We also want to make sure other parents never feel lost or alone. We want to make sure all parents have the same access to information, resources, and services for their children with Down Syndrome. We noticed early on the discrepancies between services NYC families received. We both strongly believe the amount of money you make should not determine the services you may (or may not) receive, or the information that is available to you. We are hoping T21Rocks! continues to spread knowledge and help families gain access to information they may not have learned about otherwise.
In conclusion …
Yes, we have taken a break, but we are back!! We have new ideas, new information, and we are ready to get back to changing the world for Samantha, Marilyn, and all the other families out there that have been blessed by a Down Syndrome Diagnosis!
Iris, Jamie, and I hope that all of you are enjoying and celebrating Down Syndrome Month with your loved ones. Whether you are rockin’ cooky socks, reppin’ your blue and yellow, sharing acts of kindness, or spreading information to the community - October is a wonderful time to give our loved ones with Down Syndrome their time to shine!