Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville
By: Brooks Baptiste
One local non-profit organization is providing awareness in education by helping individuals with disabilities reach their full potential.
Desiree Jomant, of the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville (DSAJ), began as a volunteer. But, after seven years, she was hired on full time as the program coordinator.
Now she works with special needs kids, who have become her friends.
Her love for them grows daily. While Down Syndrome is a disability, the kids who have it are just as able as anyone else.
Jomant has seen a lot in her time with the DSAJ, but she enjoys the Tuesday night dance classes most of all. “I like to think that my positive energy rubs off, and they just think it’s a great program,” Jomant said. It’s her way to have a good time with the kids. “It’s something they actually look forward to each week.”
“I love to dance cause I love to dance alone in my room,” said Savannah Forrest, a member of the DSAJ. But when she’s not dancing alone in her room, she enjoys doing it with friends. “I just really like to dance,” she said.
Working with people with Down Syndrome isn’t new for Jomant. Her passion for helping those with this disability started when she grew close to her Aunt Beth.
“I always had a special connection with her and every day I wanted to see aunt Beth, I wanted to do things with Aunt Beth,” said Jomant.
She always wanted to make her Aunt Beth happy. “You know, it’s almost like a contagious laugh or smile, and just seeing her happy made me happy.”
Like Jomant, the DSAJ strives to help those with this disability create their own path to fulfillment and success. For now, Jomant continues to befriend those who need it most.