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Chinquapin Elementary Student Featured In Times Square


Pink Hill toddler to be featured in Times Square to start Down Syndrome Awareness Month

by Annette Weston


Brayden Locklear, 3, from Pink Hill will be featured on the big screen in the heart of New York City as a part of the National Down Syndrome Society’s annual Times Square Video presentation on September 14th. (Photo provided by Heather Locklear) 

A Pink Hill toddler will soon see his image plastered high above the hustle and bustle in the heart of New York City.

The National Down Syndrome Society’s annual Times Square Video presentation on September 14th kicks off Down Syndrome Awareness Month on the morning of the NDSS Buddy Walk in New York.

The organization says featured photographs highlight children, teens and adults with Down syndrome working, playing and learning alongside friends and family and Brayden Locklear's mom Heather says he's one of the toughest kids she knows.

"He had open-heart surgery at 2 months old and has not slowed down since," she explained, "He is walking, starting to talk and uses sign language to communicate. He can do anything your typical 3-year-old can do, it may just take him a little longer to do it."

Brayden’s photos was selected from over 3,000 entries in the NDSS worldwide call for photos. Approximately 500 photos will appear in the Times Square video, but Heather says she's not sure he actually understands what it means yet to be chosen.

NDSS officials say the video is intended to remind the world in a big way about the gifts that people with Down syndrome bring to their communities and say the images promote acceptance and inclusion, which is the foundation of the National Buddy Walk Program.

Brayden is 3 years old and will start school this year at Chinquapin Elementary.