Self-Advocate Speaker

Emmanuel's (b. December 21, 1996; St. Louis, MO) self-advocate presentations are targeted to parents and professionals to raise hope and awareness of the abilities in persons with Down syndrome. Emmanuel was homeschooled, raised bilingual English/Spanish and tutored in French and Latin. He sight-read at age 2; studied Suzuki violin since age 6; learned to ride a bicycle at 8; State Special Olympics aquatics medalist in 200 and 400 freestyle at 10; set six Junior Down Syndrome Swimming World records at 13; has two holes-in-one in golf and became an altar server at 13 and confirmed at 14.

Emmanuel's first presentation was at age 3 sight-reading flashcards in French at Lewis & Clark Community College (Illinois, 1999). At 6, he read a welcoming statement in three languages at the National Down Syndrome Society Annual Conference Plenary Session in front of 600 people (St. Louis, 2003). At 12 he played a violin recital at the 10th World Down Syndrome Congress in front of 900 people and gave a breakout session Power Point presentation (Ireland, 2009). At 15 and 16 for World Down Syndrome Day, he was invited to play with symphony orchestras in Turkey (Konya, 2012-3). At the 12th World Down Syndrome Congress he delivered a plenary keynote speech and played a violin recital with the Fernandes String Quartet (India, 2015). Emmanuel performed with the Orkestra Simfonike e Radio Televizionit Shqiptar at the Third Albanian Presidential Ball (Tirana, 2015) and for the President of Greece, Prokopis Pavlopoulos (Athens, 2018).

In 2015 he narrated My Dear Dad for the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation and has spoken at Down syndrome conferences, to name a few: Eastern Pennsylvania Down Syndrome Center, 3rd Annual Trisomy 21: Down Syndrome in the 21st Century, “Karincanin Yolu” Konferansin: Necmettin Erbakan Üniversitesi (Turkey); I Congreso Nacional sobre Discapacidad Intelectual y III Simposio Avances y Perspectivas en el Síndrome de Down (México); I Congreso Internacional de Síndrome de Down (Nicaragua); VII Congreso Argentino de Síndrome de Down; 2016 Congrès Canadien de la Trisomie 21; 9º Festival Internacional de Mentes Brillantes (México); 1º Congreso Internacional del Síndrome de Down “Hablemos Claro” (Ecuador); retreats (Frankie's Fund Mother's Weekend Conference [September, 2007]); meetings: Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville [2006], Lincoln Land Down Syndrome Society, Down Syndrome Dublin Toddler Group [Ireland], Down Syndrome Association of Greater Richmond; and to schools: Holy Ghost & St. Francis (USA) and St. Joseph's Convent School (Trinidad and Tobago).