People Social Services

Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas hires first self-advocate employee

The Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas (DSPNT) has announced the hiring of their first self-advocate employee, Lauren Fairchild, as the agency’s first Donor Relations Assistant. The hire was made possible through a grant from The Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GDSF). The Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas is one of nine Down syndrome advocacy organizations across the country to receive this funding through GDSF’s Self-Advocate Employee Initiative grant.

Fairchild has past experience working in various jobs through the RISE Program in Northwest ISD. She also trained in public speaking through the Special Olympics Global Messenger program. She is an active competitor in the Special Olympics and lists ballet and swim as her hobbies. DSPNT’s Executive Director Michelle Crim said, “Lauren is a natural fit for this position. She is articulate, engaging, funny and personable. We interviewed some amazing individuals, but at this time, we felt she was the best fit for the position.”

Crim also stated, “This is such an exciting time in the history of our organization. We have always utilized self-advocates as volunteers, but to be able to hire and train someone with Down syndrome to work here is an incredible opportunity that we have envisioned happening for a long time.”

The position was posted on various websites and formal interviews were conducted throughout the month of April. Michelle added, “Lauren’s primary role as Donor Relations Assistant will be to prepare materials for and attend networking meetings to advocate for the mission of our organization. What better way to show that individuals with Down syndrome can be successful and productive members of our community?”

It is Crim’s hope that this is just the beginning of creating more opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome to work in our community. “We are always striving toward a vision of full access and acceptance, full potential, and a life of opportunities for people with Down syndrome and their loved ones. This grant allows us to fulfill that vision.”

Visit the DSPNT homepage to view a video of Fairchild finding out she got the job.


The mission of The Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas is to provide support to individuals with Down syndrome and their families through awareness and engagement, advocacy and outreach, education, and the exchange of ideas and experiences. The Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas has been serving 12 counties in North Texas for 20 years. Find out more on the organization’s website. publishes every week.
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