A young woman is taking Atlanta by storm teaching kids with special needs, lobbying at the State Capitol, and starring in a production.

Her name is Martha Haythorn and before you get too deep into this story, she wants to make one things clear.

"This is not just an interview with a person with Down syndrome. This is an interview with a young woman who wanted to share her story today about how proud she is of her successes," she said. 

Haythorn has Down syndrome and she's holding down three jobs. One, is teaching in a classroom for kids with special needs at Westchester Elementary School in Decatur.

"It's very, very important that if you get a job in this field, you need to be patient. Because the students are doing the best they can," she said. 

Martha Haythorn

Mondays and Tuesdays, she's at the school. On Wednesdays, she works at a private school and, when the legislature is in session, she's advocating for people with disabilities at the Capitol.

"I have been advocating for this all my life, and all my life, I have known this is what I want," she said. 

When she's not talking to lawmakers, she's on the stage at the Jerry's Habima Theatre, where she's in the production of Xanadu Jr.

"I think it's important for people with disabilities so people can interact, they can have social skills," she said.  "If they don't know how to sing, that's OK. Teach them how to sing! They have potential and they need to express themselves, get them on the stage."

In all of her roles, she's always educating people and she wants to use her platform to make the world a better place for everyone.

"A young person with Down syndrome, or a person with a disability, no more labeling! That is done," she said. "I know this is my reality, I accept it about myself. I am always going to have a disability, I will never change it, I am OK with it because that's what makes me, me.


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