CROCKETT, Texas (KTRE) – The National Down Syndrome Society is kicking off in a big way this September. Amidst the bright lights of Broadway in the heart of Times Square, one will be able to find two-year-old Arianna Cooper on a jumbotron screen on September 18th.
Arianna’s father, Jocobe Cooper, said he could not be more proud of his daughter.
“We decided to enter her into the contest, and I think it’s over 2,000 kids or so. And she’s one of the 500 that actually won. So we just love to show the world how great she is. She’s been a real blessing to our lives,” Cooper said.
The images feature people of all ages with Down syndrome with the end goal to promote a message of acceptance and inclusion. Cooper said that a lot of Down syndrome kids end up in the foster care system, so awareness is essential.
“A lot of people, when they see Down syndrome kids, they don’t understand them right away. And really, they’re just the same as every other kid. Like they’re easy to take care of. They’re lovable. Like I said with her, they’re quick learners if you actually give them the time,” Cooper said.
And when he found out Arianna’s photo was chosen, he could not wait to tell the news to his family.
“I immediately told my grandparents and my father. Cause this is something I always played around with them about saying that one day we’d make Arianna some kind of model in some way because we just love showing her off,” Cooper said.
Cooper said his daughter is a light in his life.
“She’s loveable. She’s adventurous. I mean overall she’s just amazing. It’s really been an experience being her dad. She’s my first girl, my first child so … I mean she really is something,” Cooper said.
The presentation in Times Square will kick off the flagship Buddy Walk. It will be live-streamed on the National Down Syndrome Society’s Facebook page on September 18th from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Written by Brianna Linn