I have Down syndrome and this is my great story. My name is Olivia Rachelle Brosseau and I am nineteen years old. I live in a small town named Glover, Vermont. Last year I graduated high school from Lake Region union high school in Barton, Vermont. If I could tell you one thing about myself it would be that I am human and I should feel loved and treated as an equal human being. I’m making a name out for myself. I’m making a difference in the lives of many people. I am blessed to have an extra chromosome; god put that in me and I love it. I’m not letting the doctors and the people who have doubts about Down syndrome get to me; I’m having the last laugh, I have accomplished so much throughout my life. I’m not letting them put doubts and limits on me, that don’t work for people. I’m in college in Community College of Vermont in Newport, Vermont and I am working to get my degree in human services. So I can help people with disabilities, I’m going to have a conference center in my future house so I can teach people with disabilities basic life skills. I will have a parent support group and student support group, so they can express their concerns and problems and I will help them with guidance and support and I will get them resources as well. In a few months later in the future, I will have a toddler and baby playgroup and support system, and it would be integrated as well with kids with no disabilities. This is my dream. As well spread awareness of Down syndrome and the misuse of the “r word,” which is retard or retarded. I hate those words, and I take immense offense to it. I see it every day and hear it and I break down and cry. Those words describe so many people that I care about and love, it has to stop. For centuries after centuries and decades after decades, people have said the r word and it has to end right now. At the end of junior year and the beginning of senior year, everybody at my high school was saying the r word, in front of me , it wasn’t direct , but indirect hurts a lot too, it’s like a sucker punch to the stomach. People have to wake up and realize that we need to be treated the utmost respect. RESPECT – that’s the new r word. I don’t care if the r word is politically correct or not and using it the right way even hurts too. It doesn’t matter how you use it, it’s offensive, discriminatory, you’re talking about a person. What if you or someone you know, or a daughter or son, nephew, cousin, or niece have an disability and people come up to you and say the r word, how would you feel?