Thursday, February 17, 2011

SC woman with Down syndrome gets closer to her dream of becoming a teacher


COLUMBIA, S.C -- One local assistant teacher is living proof that with motivation and a positive attitude there is nothing that can't be accomplished.

"I always tried hard, and I always did my best," said Bryann Burgess (pictured), an assistant teacher with a school called Kindermusik.

From day one, the 22-year-old came into this world with an extra obstacle.

"I was born with down syndrome, on August 20th, 1988," Burgess said.

Something that many would see as a difficulty, she turned into an inspiration.

"I'm studying music and theater. It's my major."

Bryann is a junior at USC's Carolina Life non-degree program.

"I'm now living on campus. For the very first time this year and it's really exciting. It was a big challenge from going from home schooling to a big campus at USC, and to live on campus. It was hard. But we did it!"

She's ultimately wants to be a full-time teacher, and is getting hands on experience teaching music along side the director of Kindermusik, Ally Trotter.

"Something about Bryann that I love, is her "authentic". She brings who she is to class."

"I've always wanted to express myself in music," said Bryann, "that's what I've learned in Kindermusik, is just to express myself and enjoy learning."

Bryann brings something invaluable to her students.

"I always tried hard, and I always did my best. No matter what happens, I just keep on going and dust myself off."

Bryann is proof that with hard work and a positive attitude, you can do anything.

"It's been wonderful. It's been quite a journey and the dream never ends," Bryann said.