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Down Syndrome Awareness Month at BHMA

In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, we are highlighting each of our individuals with DS and their unique contributions to our community. Meet them below:


Image of William Duffy, wearing headphones and a red polo shirt, crossing his hands as he sits in front of an open laptop; the rainbow Circles tapestry is visible in the background.

From computers, to video cameras, LIVE member William Duffy knows his way around technology. Before the pandemic, he was uploading items to the Connected Creators site and doing videography projects; these days he is navigating virtual learning like a pro. William is inquisitive and insightful––always asking questions and sharing his knowledge during class discussions. We appreciate his enthusiasm & creativity.




Image of Catherine Hackett holding up a package of lettuce in each hand; she stands before an open refrigerator.

A standout in the kitchen, LIVE member Catherine Hackett independently follows recipes and takes pride in making healthy choices. She brings a fun energy wherever she goes––from musical ensembles, to yearbook group meetings. Since joining our program a few years ago, Catherine has developed her piano skills, grown her confidence with counting money, and delighted us all with her sense of humor.


Photo of Ilyse Ross, wearing a pink t-shirt and a face shield, smiling as she holds up a silver digital camera.

Seen here using a digital camera for the first time, LIVE member Ilyse Ross has really flourished these last few months. From experimenting with different art techniques, to planting seeds for a garden, she has been trying new things each week. We love her can-do spirit & and are excited to see what she does next.






Photo of Jen Barrett, wearing a gray field day t-shirt, holding a white rag in her hands as she pauses while cleaning in the Bernon Music Center.

Full of humor & creativity, LIVE member Jen Barrett has excelled in our Ascending Artist Program. She particularly loves ceramics and photography, and is most content when she is crafting out of clay or capturing a picture of her surroundings. With the pandemic, Jen has been participating in virtual art, music, and life skills classes.






Picture of Karlie Forrest, wearing a tan and white striped shirt, holding a microphone with a large orange cover as she performs at Variety Hour.

With her beautiful singing voice, LIVE member Karlie Forrest always puts her own spin on the songs she performs--from "A Dream Is a Wish," to "Disturbia." Before the pandemic she was working hard on matching written music to the piano keys, and following Pictello recipes independently or from memory. Karlie's sense of humor & laughter continue to bring joy to our community.


Headshot of Tim Daniels, wearing a green henley and blue open jacket, smiling against a black background.

A creative & introspective individual, before the pandemic began, LIVE member Tim Daniels had mastered the multi-step process of making small ceramic pieces in our Ascending Artist Program. Since returning to BHMA, he has been using elements of nature as the basis for different watercolor paintings. Tim also has a passion for movement and regularly dances his heart out in SHINE, Zumba, and his individual lessons.


Here’s second-year Adriana Isham dancing to “Becky from the Block” at a Variety Hour performance last year. Through individual lessons and ensemble classes, Adriana’s confidence in her movement skills has really grown. She is very independent in the kitchen, and (pre-pandemic), was practicing how to best utilize her budget by varying her purchases during weekly store trips. Adriana is a joy to have around, and we’re so glad she’s a part of our community.


Here’s LIVE member Ben Krifka performing the *NSYNC classic “Bye Bye Bye.” With his unmatched work ethic, Ben has been practicing singing in his falsetto and matching pitch in his weekly voice lessons. He continues to express his strong sense of creativity in art class––using nature as inspiration for his photography & painting projects. Ben’s enthusiasm adds so much to our program.



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