This 17-Year-Old Model Made it Her Mission to Raise Awareness of Down Syndrome

17-year-old model Gigi Cunningham is breaking barriers in the fashion world. She dreams of having a career in the entertainment industry and has began booking modeling gigs, despite receiving rejection, due to having Down syndrome. Gigi is using the spotlight to raise awareness for the Down syndrome community and to help to end bullying.

“When people read my story I want them to know that I can do anything, [and] with social media the world will see my true potential and beauty,” she told The Mighty. “I want the modeling world to give me a chance also and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. I want the world to really change how they perceive people with disabilities and continue to embrace their beauty. Never set limits on your child… they just might exceed them. People with Down syndrome are beautiful, smart, creative, loving, confident and it should be displayed.”
Gigi will serve as a representative in the Buddy Walk, a National Down Syndrome Society event this month. She will also walk the runway in the 2015 Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show in Denver, Colorado.

“Many doors will close and many will open,” she said. “Always approach your obstacle with a ‘I can’ attitude and with a smile on your face because you are worth it. My belief is that you can do all things through Christ and with prayer nothing is impossible. Never give up and if no one else believes in you I do. We are winning. I am determined to help change the face of beauty.”

View Gigi's beautiful photos below.

Photos: Erica Butler and Majestic Time Photography
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