As he sat with the rest of the Homecoming Court at his high school pep rally, Josh Sylvie remembers keeping his fingers crossed while waiting for the announcement of the names of the Homecoming King and Queen. When his name was called, he says, “I was really excited and really happy.” Of all the events that memorable week, he especially loved “all the dancing” and “the Disney theme.” Here's the rest of our interview with Josh:
If you could change anything in the world, what would it be? "I would stop people from bullying. In my senior year, I got bullied. I was upset. The boy apologized. He has grown up now."
Who are your heroes? "My teachers: Mrs. Bamford, Mrs. Anderson, and Miss Hammer. They are my heroes because they teach students to become adults."
What does Down syndrome mean to you? "I like being Down syndrome. It makes me special. We have a fashion show every year. It’s my 12th year being in the fashion show [for the National Association for Down Syndrome]. I get to wear fancy clothes, and invite my whole family to come."
What are you up to now? "I graduated from Riverside Brookfield High School in 2015. Now I’m in transition. I’m learning about budgeting. We also cook food in transition.
I work at Culvers. I clean chairs and tables, check the condiment bars, and deliver the food to the customers inside and outside. Sometimes I get to see my friends when they come to Culvers. I love that a lot. I also work two days a week at the community center at North Riverside Village. I clean the rugs and the mats on the walls. I don’t like the cleaning, but I do like to vacuum."
What are you learning? "I learn about what my job is, about being on time, and about having a good attitude."
What would you like people to know about you? "My coworkers love me. I do my best. I always like to get work done."
What’s the most important thing in life? "The most important thing is having all my friends in my life—and my cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and my sister."
What are your favorite activities? "I play Special Olympics basketball and track and field. I won gold at state in 2013 in the softball throw! They gave me a plaque at my high school, and my Best Buddy [Spencer Purcell] announced me. They put my picture up in the hall."
What are your plans and dreams for the future? "In my future, I will be working at Culvers and I will be working out. I will be getting in shape at the YMCA in LaGrange. I also want to be in my family band. Right now I’m the manager of the family band."