one child, one diagnosis, one community at a time-that's how we roll!

I feel like we just finished the final lap of a triathlon! In the last 3 weeks alone, we celebrated 10 years with the opening of the brand new Achievement Center in Hoffman Estates, traveled to Nashville for their grand opening and hosted 150 dedicated board members, volunteers and staff from around the US and Mexico for our annual National Conference and Banquet. I love that one-it's the most inspiring weekend of the year for me! We had 16 fully functioning Playhouses participating along with 4 emerging playhouses to round us out at 20 Playhouses networking and paving the way for Down syndrome achievement worldwide. Yes, all that in 3 weeks-but if we go back a little further...

We re-branded as Down Syndrome Achievement Centers! 

We opened our first INTERNATIONAL Playhouse in Queretaro, Mexico! 

We launched a progressive learning program for adults with DS called GiGi University! 

We mentored pregnant women and new parents of children with DS! 

We piloted 12 new programs at locations across the country! 

We built and paid for the new National Achievement Center through the incredible generosity of our amazing donors!





Check out this video of our Grand Opening and the 2013 GiGiFest Celebration:


GiGi's National Achievement Center Grand Opening
GiGi's National Achievement Center Grand Opening

All this while serving more than 16,000 amazing individuals with Down syndrome! Did we do this alone? No! It was all of us together! Bigger, better, stronger together! Oh sorry, I am still in conference mode! Yee Haw! Uh-oh now I am back in Nashville! Hola amigos! Mexico mode? Suffice to say it has been one wild ride!


Thank you for believing in me and all of the amazing children and adults with DS. We still need your voice, your heart and your commitment. I PROMISE we will make you proud: one child, one diagnosis, one community at a time.

Love, Nancy and GiGi

Hugs & Mugs Now Open:

Hugs & Mugs Gift Shop & Café offers customized coffee mugs using your artwork or ours; filled with treats including cookies, popcorn and more. Each mug is designed, printed and packaged by participating adults with DS.Warm a friend's heart....


Please use the code "BLACK FRIDAY"

when ordering your mugs for a special holiday discount!



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Click HERE to visit our online store:

2014 Calendars NOW AVAILABLE-use the BLACK FRIDAY discount code for calendars too!  




GiGi U in the house!

Twelve amazing adults have embarked on a journey to develop new levels of confidence, health and wellness, and career skills-all to reach their highest potential. GiGi University is a progressive program for adults with Down syndrome, which offers....

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Check out this amazing speech from one of the GiGi University participants:


Farzin Sharyari's Keynote Speech - 2013 GiGi's Playhouse Convention
Farzin's Keynote Speech: 
2013 GiGi's Playhouse Convention
Nicole's Journey

Growing up in Chicago, Nicole was horribly teased by children who weren't taught that everyone has potential, and that everyone should be treated with dignity. She was bullied and had a very difficult time in school. Nicole lost her motivation to learn and to grow as a teenager. As an adult, Nicole stayed home most of the time and didn't want to try living a happy and fulfilling life.


This past June, 32-year-old Nicole and her mother Diana were asked to attend a focus group for GiGi University. They.....

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Blessing of Baby Sara

When I was 11 weeks pregnant with Sara, my doctor told me he suspected Sara would be born with Down syndrome. I could not believe it, I was in shock. I was not having a child with Down syndrome. As the next few months went by, I tried to deny the diagnosis, but with every test and every ultrasound, the results were...


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i have a voice gala   
We're EXCITED to announce that our annual "I Have A Voice" International Gala will take place on Saturday March 1, 2014 at a brand new venue: Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace! We're growing and plan to host 1,000 guests! Additional Galas will take place the same night nationwide to collectively celebrate the achievements of all our individuals and families...

I Have a Voice 2014 International Gala
Preview: The 2014 International Gala

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