Erin Thompson, Staff Writer

Hi, my name is Erin Thompson. I am a senior at George Mason University in the Mason LIFE program.

I work part time at Broadside. I have been involved in the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia.

I became a self-advocate on the Down Syndrome board with another self-advocate named David Egan.

My responsibilities are going to my board meeting or making conference calls for the board meetings once a month and attending the many meetings of the DSANV.

I represent the interests and concerns of people with Down Syndrome on the board but not just the parents or advocates of people with Down Syndrome.

I know what it is like to have Down Syndrome and sometimes I give speeches and represent DSANV. I have some special news to tell you. I recently got nominated for the Dan Piper Award.

I was competing with 18 other people and I won the Dan Piper award and now I am going to New York City to get the award.

I will be presented it in Central Park, where the Buddy Walk is, on Sept. 26.