Encouraging students to turn caring into doing is a major component of the National STEM League (NSL). Each year, Ten80 student teams from across the country make a difference in their local communities by engaging in community leadership projects. These students choose causes that matter most to them and organize activities to raise awareness and help make a positive change.
While many Ten80 teams deserve recognition, a team from Everett High School in Massachusetts developed an especially outstanding community service project. Ethan’s Rover Project stems from the love of an older brother and the compassion of his teammates.
My name is Gabriel Simao, I am a senior at Everett High School and was behind the community awareness campaign for Ethan’s Rover. We decided to dedicate our team to my younger brother Ethan who has Trisomy 21, better known as Down Syndrome. Over the past 6 years, Ethan has shown me how there is a grand community of family members and friends coming together for the purpose of giving kids and adults with Down Syndrome the rights they deserve. For a long time, there has been a social stigma placed upon people with Down Syndrome and we want to change this.
The amazing Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress is committed to helping people with down syndrome to living a joyful life and achieve successes such as acquiring jobs, attending college, getting married, and so many other things that they have the capabilities of accomplishing. We decided to help fundraise money for MDSC on top of spreading their mission by creating blue and yellow ribbons and a poster to illustrate to people what the movement has meant to our team. I plan on continuing this mission of raising awareness for Down Syndrome for the rest of my life alongside my family, friends, and most importantly Ethan.
Ethan’s Rover teammates not only improved critical thinking, communication and leadership skills, but also fostered habits of kindness inspiring them to continue making a difference in their community.
Please join us in congratulating Ethan’s Rover for their incredible work and high level of leadership and involvement in their community!