In 2014, 17-year-old Brina Maxino, a Filipina with down syndrome, was invited to deliver a speech at the White House and got to meet then U.S. President Barack Obama. True enough that she made a bit of history as she was the first Filipina to represent the Asia Pacific region at the Special Olympics Global Youth Activation Summit, and a teenager for that matter.
Due to her condition, Brina Maxino experienced being bullied by her peers. She mentioned in her speech that being called names made her sad and it was hard for her while growing up.
“Do not say the ‘R’ word, retard or retarded, stupid, idiot, others, don’t say that. Don’t say the R word because it’s really insulting and hurting others with intellectual disability, it makes them sad.”
Nonetheless, it was indeed a blissful moment for Brina to be an ambassador for the organization. The teenage girl also dined with the former U.S. President.
Today, Brina Maxino, now 21, has been traveling to various countries to serve as an inspiration to other individuals who also have down syndrome. We can say that in spite of her condition, she’s a bright young girl as she graduated at the top of her high school class—and she was the only one who had an intellectual disability.
Moreover, Brina has an impressive scholastic record, having finished her bachelors degree in History, a two-year course in Associate in Arts, and a one-year course in General Clerical Skills. She is also currently working as an Assistant Teacher at Pean Integrated School in Parañaque. Given her credentials, she expressed her hopes to her readers:
“To everyone — please respect us and accept us. Please do not call us names like mongoloid, idiot, moron, stupid or retarded. It hurts us. Please be kind to us. Our disability does not mean inability. We can be useful members of society. Cheers to all Persons with Down Syndrome!”
See how the netizens reacted to her post.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you know anyone with a learning disability? Share your comments, reactions, and opinions in the comments section below.