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).

He 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).