Sean King has been the president of the DSC for the past 6 years. Prior to that, he served on the board as Treasurer and Vice President. Sean has been involved with the DSC since 2000 when his son, Ayman, was 1 year old. He always enjoyed volunteering, and joining the board seemed like the perfect fit. Jodi Reimer from The Arc sat on the board and recruited him to serve (thank you Jodi!). Sean’s goals for the DSC were to take it to the next level. At the time, roles and responsibilities were not well-defined. He wanted to help re-energize the board and get it growing. Sean was responsible for the resurrection of the monthly newsletter, the DSC Lending Library, and planning the Sweetheart Dance each year since its inception in 2001. He also focused on ensuring the DSC was financially sound. Now that Ayman is turning 17, Sean has decided it’s time to step down from the DSC board and serve on our advisory board. His expertise is a great tool for our mostly new board members!
Before we let him off the hook, we decided to ask Sean a few questions:
What is your favorite thing about the DSC? I have loved getting to know everyone and watching the kids grow up over the years. The families have always inspired me. I have really seen that people with Down syndrome are individuals and how truly different they are from each other.
What is your favorite program that the DSC runs? I believe the DSC has done a good job connecting kids and families. I enjoyed being in charge of all the Sweetheart Dances. I loved hearing how people look forward to the dance and everyone can relax and be themselves there. Many people have expressed their gratitude about this to me. It’s exciting to see the dance grow from a small gathering of 20 to a grand affair of almost 200 this year!
What would you like to see the DSC offer in the future? I would love to see more programs that give people what they need to empower themselves – educational programs for both kids and parents, like the Learning Program. I think more educational components should be offered, as well as something focused on young adults. I hope the DSC continues to provide people with experiences to enrich their lives. I feel opportunities need to continue to be provided for people to connect, and the DSC needs to have a stronger presence so that more people know what we do and help us to accomplish our goals. I believe the DSC has the potential to do great things as it currently stands.
What have been your greatest joys in raising a child with Down syndrome? Seeing Ayman’s constant growth. He has goals and aspirations and I have enjoyed being his coach. Ayman loves to learn new things and to master them. He likes for us to make him lists of things to do (or he makes them himself) and enjoys checking things off the list. The other day, I taught him how to mow the lawn. Now he wants to do it every day! I appreciate his zest for life and his love of connecting with people. Ayman is a performer and social butterfly. He is self-motivated to improve himself and wants to be independent.
What are your hopes/dreams for your child with Down syndrome? My hopes for Ayman are for him to be constantly challenged, but not so much so that he gives up. I want for him to feel empowered and to have the self-confidence to be who he wants to be and to do what he wants to do. I hope he has a daily desire to rise up to the day and contribute to society.
Please join us in thanking Sean for his many years of service to the Down Syndrome Community, the board that serves it, and the many people he has dedicated his efforts to throughout the years. Thank you, Sean!