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Great Expectations
Great Expectations

My name is Chris Burke. I starred in ABC's family television series 'Life Goes On.' It was great to have my own TV show and to work with my co-stars Bill Smitrovich, Patti Lupone, Kellie Martin and Tracy Needham. This TV show has wonderful messages of what it's like to have parents and families raise their child and sibling who has Down syndrome. Now I work as the Goodwill Ambassador and office assistant 3 days a week at the National Down Syndrome Society. Working for NDSS really means A LOT to me. I first started in 1994 - 18 years ago. First, I became Editor of "News Views" and UpBeat. They were inspirational magazines for and by people with Down syndrome to write inspirational stories about themselves and to write about their P.O.V. (point of view) on certain topics and issues that are about the Down syndrome community. As NDSS Goodwill Ambassador I get to inspire people when I perform my music act with my friends Joe and John DeMasi at Buddy Walks®, schools, conferences, festivals and disability awareness concerts. I like to give a lot of inspirational messages when I perform. One is, "obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal." Another is, “believe in yourself, work hard and never give up...” Also, “It's not about our disabilities; it's our abilities that count.” I want everyone to know it's about passion and what you're good at. It's about having goals and dreams, and especially wanting things in life. My career (from Life Goes On, working for NDSS and performing my music) gave me the opportunity to do different things. I love my work very much and encourage everyone to think, "Yes, I can make a difference in my own life."

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Jenna, Canada,
5/2/2013 10:07:08 PM
Chris, I am a person with developmental disabilties, and I watched your show when I was younger! You are my hero! And such an inspiration to all who have downsyndrome and developmental delays.

leslie hatland, United States, CA
5/1/2013 10:57:35 PM
I almost felt a little guilty voting for Chris because he has had time in the limelight..but I vividly remember his show and watched it every week. I was a relatively new special education story working in a district that was just beginning to main stream students with developmental disabilities. Chris was an inspiration and a reminder to me every week that I really could make a difference helping students of all abilities learn together. He was proof! So while I do admire the other people and their great stories, I have to admit that Chris helped make me the person I am today.

KATHY A. ZIGMOND, United States, TX
1/12/2013 9:40:39 PM
i really like this story too. it's very interesting.

Kathy A. Zigmond, United States, TX
11/3/2011 10:45:41 PM
i think that is a really great story. it was really inspiring. so have a great success in everything that you do.

Kara Corridan, United States, NJ
8/24/2011 1:48:02 PM
Go Chris! I love your essay.

Lorraine Register, United States, NY
6/17/2011 12:11:15 AM
I enjoyed this segemant and I also have a daughter with Down syndrome

Teresa, United States, TX
1/23/2011 1:47:56 PM
I loved your article. My Jordy is my hero. He loves family and music.

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