down syndrome modelMany teens around the country have big dreams of being anything they want to be and won’t let anything stop them. Gigi Cunningham is one of those teens and she isn’t letting the fact that she has Down Syndrome get in her way!

The 17-year-old dreams of a career in entertainment and has already started by breaking into the modeling industry.

Years ago she was a victim of bullying by her peers at school. After a day coming home in tears, she and her mother talked and decided to make a way to move forward.

And she has done just that. Gigi is now modeling and using her platform and found fame in a positive way.

“When people read my story I want them to know that I can do anything, [and] with social media the world will see my true potential and beauty,” Gigi said. “I want the modeling world to give me a chance also and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. I want the world to really change how they perceive people with disabilities and continue to embrace their beauty. Never set limits on your child… they just might exceed them. People with Down syndrome are beautiful, smart, creative, loving, confident and it should be displayed.”

Next weekend, Gigi will serve as one of three representatives in the Buddy Walk in Urbana, Illinois, which is a National Down Syndrome Society event to bring awareness and promote acceptance.

down syndrome model

Later this month she will walk the runway in the 2015 Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show in Denver, Colorado which will be her biggest accomplishment to date. The show is hosted by the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and is the largest fundraiser for Down Syndrome in the nation by raising $9.5 million for Down syndrome research, medical care, advocacy and education.

A lot can be learned from Gigi’s story. As a girl who has been turned down for many opportunities due to the fact she has Down Syndrome, she persevering.

down syndrome model

Although bullying is no longer an issue for her, she knows that there will be continued challenges within the entertainment industry and is prepared for it.

I admire her strength and courage for showing the world she is beautiful and can be anything she wants to be all while bringing more awareness to Down syndrome. With that said, don’t let anything or anyone stop you from doing what you want to do.

You go Gigi! I love it!

Photo Credit Facebook @GigiCunningham12 and Instagram @gigirising12