Allie Andrews’ job took her from college, to Kansas City, and all the way to St. Louis, but all that traveling never stopped Allie from remaining an active member in the Down syndrome community. Here is the story of Allie’s involvement with the Down syndrome community and how she became a member of the Young Friends Board for the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis:
Hello! My name is Allie Andrews and I am the current Vice President of the Young Friends Board for the DSAGSL. I was first introduced to the Down syndrome community at an early age, as my cousin, Emily, has Down syndrome. Growing up, I learned how to be an advocate for people of all different abilities and I knew that was something that would remain important to me throughout my life. After attending college and getting settled in my job in Kansas City, MO, I decided to volunteer at a few events hosted by the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City (DSGKC). It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wanted to become more active in the organization and I started volunteering during their monthly children’s learning program. During these sessions, young kids with Down syndrome were able to participate in stations to learn different sensory, motor, reading, and math skills while their parents learned how to reinforce those skills and behaviors at home. I loved getting to know the families and watching the kids grow and learn from year to year.
When my career brought me home to St. Louis in late 2015, I knew I wanted to be a part of the local Down syndrome community. However, my job involved substantial travel at the time. Fast forward a year and a half later, I moved into a different role that was based solely in St. Louis. Soon after this transition, I noticed that the Young Friends Board for the DSAGSL was hosting an informational meeting and I decided to attend. A few days after the recruiting event, I submitted my application to join the group and am so glad that I did! Being a Young Friends Board member and a member of the DSAGSL community is incredibly rewarding and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish this year! Incredible story Allie, thanks for sharing!