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High school student motivated to educate others



Wynne, Arkansas – A Wynne student aspires to set an example for her neighborhood both on and off the stage.

Wynne High School sophomore Taylor Murphy. She is acting in the Matilda performance at her school.

She has Down syndrome as well.

Chromosome 21 has an additional copy in Down syndrome infants.

Murphy understands that people with Down syndrome have difficulties in life, but she doesn’t want these difficulties to keep her from pursuing her goals.

She started taking dancing lessons when she was two years old, and her enthusiasm for the arts developed early.

She has been motivated to pursue her passion through previous television appearances by actors with Down syndrome.

“I watch people with Down Syndrome on Netflix and said, ‘Oh, wow, I want to be just like them.’ I want to be on TV,” she said.

Her mother, Schunda Jones-Murphy, claimed that her daughter never saw her impairment as a barrier.

“Taylor has always been, ‘Ok, what’s the next challenge? Mom, can I, do it?’,” she said.

Murphy and her mother both hope that their trip will alter how people perceive people with Down syndrome.

“I hope that she is able to inspire others to have an open heart and to give students with disabilities, not just Down Syndrome, the ability to participate in anything,” said Jones-Murphy.

Being a parent to a kid with Down syndrome, according to Jones-Murphy, can be difficult, but she has received support from other parents as well as her own family.

“I’m just doing what any other mom would do, it just takes us a little extra time, but we can do it. It takes us a little bit of extra practice, but we can do it,” she said.

She emphasized that helping her daughter is the most important thing she can do.

“When they’re given the opportunity, those students have some magnificent skills and abilities that they’re able to do,” she said.

Murphy just got her license to drive. She wanted to drive because she has seen her pals doing so.

She has been driving herself to school play rehearsals. She aspires to serve as an example for other young people.

“You could do the same thing that I’m doing, take dance classes, participate in plays also. I just want other kids with disabilities who want to participate in anything that you can have fun,” she said.

She has spoken about living with Down syndrome at national conferences, so her activism extends beyond Wynne High School’s walls.

“She sat with the Global Foundation Medical Board and sat with doctors. Taylor was able to share her experience about her surgeries, things that she felt were needed for her community, which is often underrepresented,” Jones-Murphy said.

In addition to being a veterinarian, Murphy stated that she aspires to perform on Broadway in New York City.

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