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Success Stories in the IDD Community: Lauren Potter

If you have seen Glee, you have probably seen Lauren Potter. She is an actress from American who played Becky Jackson on Glee. She received much praise for her stellar performance on Glee. Aside from acting, she also is an advocate for people with disabilities, and a comedian. 

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Early Life

Lauren Potter was born in Southern California, the birthplace of many actors and actresses, in 1990 on May 10. When Potter was born, she was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Although she could not walk until age two, as soon as she started walking she started attending classes for acting and dance. Potter went on to graduate high school in Riverside, California at Riverside Polytechnic Highschool. After that, she took classes at Irvine Valley College in California. 

Acting

Potter made her acting debut at the age of 16 in a movie called Mr. Blue Sky. In 2009, she began playing Becky Jackson of Glee and did that for six years. She was a part of 56 episodes. Her character was part of the cheerleading team and she had a special bond with the cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester. The character of Sue Sylvester had a bond with her because her older sister also had Down syndrome. Sue Sylvester was played by Jane Lynch. Potter went on to win multiple awards for her performance on Glee including the SAG/AFTRA Harold Russell Award. In 2015, Potter played a role in the short film Guest Room. Her character was dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Most recently, she appeared on Chicago Med in 2019. 

Advocacy 

Along with making an impact with her acting career, she has been an advocate for people with Down syndrome. President Barack Obama wanted her advisement for the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. He appointed her as a member in 2011. 

In 2015, she was a part of the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. She was an ambassador for the games. At the games, she gave speeches and promoted inclusion. She also has a partnership with Abilitypath and works to end the use of the ‘R-word’. 

WhiteHouse.gov

Richmond Magazine

R-Word.org

IMBD

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