Teen With Downs Syndrome Pushes Past Bullying Into Modeling

gigi2Gigi Cunningham has always had dreams of having a career in the entertainment industry, and with a handful of modeling jobs already under her belt, it looks like the 17-year-old beauty is on her way to doing that and more. But what’s even more impressive is that Gigi is using her talent to raise awareness for the Down syndrome community and to put an end to bullying.

Down Syndrome or Down’s syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. It is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features, and mild to moderate intellectual disability. The average IQ of a young adult with Down syndrome is 50, equivalent to the mental age of an 8- or 9-year-old child, but this varies widely.

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Gigi will be a representative in the Buddy Walk, which is a nationally known Down Syndrome society event. Later on this month, the model is set to walk the runway of the 2015 Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show in Denver, Colorado.

The young beauty says that this fashion show is her biggest achievement yet.

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The show is put on by the Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GDSF), and it is the largest fundraiser for Down syndrome in the country, according to its website. More than 1,200 people attend the event every year to show their support for these young and brave models, and the show has raised more than $9.5 million for Down Syndrome research, medical care, advocacy and awareness.

Despite her most recent success, a few years ago Gigi said that she was taunted at school by…

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