Only 16 year old Emmanuel-Joseph is a committed young man of many passions: languages, sports, music and… the defense of the Down Syndrome cause.
From the United States where he lives, Emmanuel Joseph has indeed travelled to many countries: Mexico, Honduras, Canada, Ireland, France, Turkey… to give his testimony about Down Syndrome in conferences. To defend people who, like himself, have one chromosome too many he likes giving “Power Point” presentations.
It was, of course, his journeys which led him to learn languages; besides English and Spanish he is interested in French and Latin! Enthusiastic and determined, he is also a true athlete.
Golf and bicycle races count among his favorite sports. But what he is really good at is swimming; he even broke the 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500 meter records in freestyle during the world swimming competition for people with Down Syndrome.
However, it is above all for his musical talent that Emmanuel-Joseph is starting to become famous. He has been practicing the violin since he was 6.
With incredible perseverance, he dedicates a great deal of his time learning this difficult instrument. It gives him another way to testify about Down Syndrome. In 2002 in Turkey, he played « Humoresque » from Antonín Dvořák with the Symphonic state orchestra Antalaya (concert accessible on youtube). In 2013 in Ireland, he also took part in a violin recital in front of 900 people during the world congress for Down Syndrome.
When he is given the last word, this fervent committed young teenager always concludes with conviction: “I am precious not for what I do or have done but because I exist. No, I am not a burden for society and my life deserves to be lived with respect and dignity. I am a defender of the Down Syndrome cause so that other people can understand us. I am a person. I am Emmanuel-Joseph."