Two inspirational students from Letterkenny are breaking down barriers and showing everybody the benefits of having a friend with Down Syndrome.

Yesterday for World Down Syndrome Day, Loreto Letterkenny students Anna Hennessy and Meg Carr published a video project to help people understand Down Syndrome.

The young friends showed in their own words what makes them unique and also how they are just like every other teenager.

Anna Hennessy is 17 years old and is in Transition Year. Meg Carr is 16 years old and is in her third year at the school.

The girls creatively showed how Down Syndrome is a part of them, but it does not determine who they are and how they should be treated by others.

Anna Hennessy

The upbeat video presents a common issue that still prevails today – a lack of understanding. In a helpful and easy to understand way, girls creatively outlined the biological makeup and characteristics of people with Down Syndrome through photos, voiceovers and videos.

“Some people don’t understand me,” Anna says. Together with Meg, she is taking a brave step via this video to bring fresh perspective to her differences. The girls explained that all they need is a little patience from others in order for them to keep up with friends and flourish. Some extra time and help are all they need to do well in academics too. This pair have no shortage of achievements in many fields.

Meg Carr

In the video, the vibrant and happy young women showed how talented they can be, just like every other person with similar levels of motivation. Anna and Meg’s capabilities are proven in the vast array of sports and activities in which they have excelled.

Meg has competed in gymnastics at the Special Olympics and has won gold many times. Anna is an All-Ireland gold medal winning swimmer, having recently competed at the Irish Down Syndrome National Swimming Championships.

The key message from this video is to encourage people to enrich their lives and befriend someone with Down Syndrome. “It’s easy to be friends with someone who has Down Syndrome, just treat them like anyone else. They are teenagers and want to be treated as teenagers, take the time to open a door to a new friendship.”

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