The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
8 E 41st Street, 8th Floor
New York New York 10017
[email protected] 

NDSS Community Change-Maker Awards Presented to Michael Garcia and Laurenzo's Prime Rib

NDSS DS-Ambassadors from Colorado and Texas Unite to Recognize Michael Garcia and Laurenzo's Prime Rib with the NDSS Community Change-Maker Award

Changemaker Awards in Houston TexasNDSS DS-Ambassadors Brian Long and Connor Long from Boulder, CO and Jason and Claire Henkhaus from Houston, TX joined together to recognize Michael Garcia and Laurenzo's Prime Rib. Mr. Garcia is the waiter at the Houston restaurant Laurenzo's Prime Rib who defended Milo Castillo, a five-year-old with Down syndrome, by refusing to serve a family that made an offensive comment about Milo. Connor Long, an eighteen-year-old with Down syndrome, also received national media attention when he co-authored a letter to Michael Garcia thanking him for his act of humanity. In his letter to Garcia, Connor Long said to Michael that one day he hoped to eat at Laurenzo’s and will now join the Houston Henkhaus family to recognize and present Michael Garcia and Laurenzo's Prime Rib with NDSS Community Change-Maker Award at the restaurant today.

“We need more people like Michael Garcia and Laurenzo's in this world to stand up for what is right. The Henkhaus and Long families also stand up for what is right. Both families are amazing advocates for people with Down syndrome and have been advocating for landmark legislation, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in the US Congress,” said NDSS President Jon Colman.

Under current law, people with disabilities receiving federal benefits cannot have more than $2,000 in assets and must have a very low monthly income. The ABLE Act will give individuals with disabilities and their families the ability to save for their child's future just like every other American family. The ABLE Act  will help people with disabilities live full, productive lives in their communities. The bill has 27 cosponsors in the Senate and over 100 cosponsors in the House.

The NDSS Community Change-Maker Award is presented to individuals from the community that go above and beyond to do random acts of kindness for people with Down syndrome.  

  • Buddy Walk
  • NDSS Yourway
  • NDSS DS-Ambassadors