A delightful story about dreams, gumption, and smiles
Caryn’s note: I’m honored to share a guest blog post by author Ann Aubitz. This post originally appeared on blog.arcsvaluevillage.org. At such a young age Katlyn has so much gumption. Her attitude gives me pause – and makes me smile! How about you? For Katlyn’s story, as told through her mother’s eyes (and, I suspect, maybe a few tears), read on…
“Mom, my dreams have all come true.” This is the statement my daughter Katlyn made after being a model for Arc’s Value Village Halloween Boo-tique. I still get emotional when I think about it because I never thought I would hear those words from her. When Katlyn was born 21 years ago with Down syndrome there was uncertainty. Now it has been replaced with hope for the future.
“I am an author, a model, an actor, and I have been on TV.”
She thought for a moment. “What should I do now?”
“Well honey you get to make new dreams,” I said, wiping the tears from my eyes.
Katlyn has led an amazing life and it just keeps getting better.
In addition to being a model for Arc’s Value Village, she was crowned 2016 Miss Amazing Queen in the Jr. Miss Division and had the opportunity to compete at the national level in Chicago.
Minnesota Miss Amazing provides opportunities for girls and women with disabilities to build confidence and self-esteem in a supportive environment. Katlyn has truly enjoyed her time as the reigning Miss Amazing Queen.
In 2015, Katlyn and I co-authored a book called Katlyn Conquers the World, which she followed up in 2016 with her own children’s book titled I am Princess Katlyn. Most recently we put together a compilation of stories for our book called The Many Faces of Down Syndrome: Stories of Inspiration, Hope, and Laughter. Katlyn authored her own story in the book, in which she talks about who her favorite people are in the whole world. Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon made the list. Also, she would eat chicken every day if she could.
As part of the Bloomington, Minnesota Public Schools transition program BTC Katlyn worked at Arc’s Value Village at the Bloomington location and was a valuable part of their team.
In addition to modeling for Arc for the Boo-tique, Katlyn also modeled for back-to-school digital ads. Arc created a video of Katlyn which was viewed over 5000 times. Katlyn would run into my office daily to see how many people saw her smiling face.
She was also the featured model for the Merry Thrift-mas ads on social media and will be modeling in Arc’s upcoming World Down Syndrome Awareness Day Style Show this Saturday, March 25th.
Katelyn will be graduating this June from Bloomington Transition Center and will be a member of the drama troupe at the Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts. Interact gives artists with disabilities opportunities for a career in a creative field of their choice.
Katlyn keeps coming up with new dreams to achieve, which is the great thing about her dreams. There is never a shortage.