Words from a Self-Advocate: Susie Stufflebam

This week we have some encouraging words from

Susie was a recipient of the Self-Advocate of the Year Award in 2017!

Susie, who explains how she faces life’s challenges. Here is her passage, titled “Different Types of Advice:”

Sometimes it’s hard to deal with changes and to face challenges in your life with anything that is close to you. I have a hard time dealing with changes and challenges myself. I try to push myself to do some challenges by starting with small & medium levels. Sometimes there are things that I can’t handle, but I listen to some advice from friends and family that are close to my heart. Don’t give up on yourself, nothing else matters as long as you have friends. Just keep your head up high & make a change. When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That is where your power is! Never let yourself get too comfortable. Seek challenges, push & ignore what others think.

Thank you for the inspiration Susie; these are great words to help during hard times!

Susie playing the guitar at a talent show!



Intern Lexie Smith on how she was able to raise $1,500!


Hello Everyone!

My name is Lexie Smith and I’m one of the great spring 2018 interns! I am currently a senior at UMSL and will be graduating in December of 2018 with a B.A in Communications.  It doesn’t take long working at DSAGSL, to become inspired and want to help this amazing organization in any way you can.

My family owns a Bridal Boutique in Chesterfield called Mia Grace Bridal. It started this January that we wanted to give back to our community in any way we could. In January we donated $20 for every dress sold to Toys for Tots for the holidays. In February we donated to the Mighty Oaks heart foundation to help children that were born with congenital heart disease. And when we were thinking of an organization to donate to for the month of March, I couldn’t help but suggest DSAGSL especially since March is national Down syndrome awareness month specifically March 21st.

Safe to say my family loved the idea and immediately set up a partnership with DSAGSL and would donate $20 for every wedding dress that was sold. To kick start our month, we set up a Facebook-Live video for the first day of March and invited Abigail Beckord and self-advocate Jennifer to talk about the wonderful things that DSAGSL does to help families and create awareness. It was a hit!

Not only did we promote it through social media, but every Saturday and Sunday (our busiest days of the week) we wore our DSAGSL t-shirts and crazy socks! If the bride bought she got to sign a yellow and blue ribbon and got to hang it on our door. The outcome was fantastic! We were able to raise $1500 and awareness to this amazing organization.

Thank you DSAGSL for all the incredible things you do for families, it is truly humbling interning here.

Gear Up for the Annual Bike Camp!

If you’re in need of something exciting to do this summer, look no further than the annual Lydia Cox Memorial Bike Camp! Our June sessions are right around the corner, and you don’t want to miss out on an awesome experience!

Volunteers lending a hand at the 2017 Bike Camp!

For most of us, our earliest and most enjoyable childhood memories include learning how to ride a bike. Bike Camp allows individuals with developmental disabilities 8 years of age and older to make those memories. Participants learn how to ride a conventional two-wheeled bike, which will help to increase their confidence and independence.

The first camp will be held Monday, June 4th- Friday, June 8th at South Technical High School in South County.  The second session will be held from Monday, June 11th- Friday, June 15th at Harvester Christian Church in St. Charles. You can find camper registration forms here. Hurry…bike fittings are already underway!

As a volunteer, you’ll enjoy the bike camp as well! It’s the perfect opportunity to have some fun and support a great cause! To learn about volunteer opportunities for one or both sessions, e-mail abigailbeckord@dsagsl.org or visit our website for more information!