CHICAGO -- This week's Four Star Chicagoan is a local mom raising awareness and creating opportunities for teens and adults with special needs. She found a way to celebrate all children born differently, regardless of the disability.
Holly Simon is a mother of 5 who's youngest son Nate was born with Down Syndrome. Instead of being congratulated on the birth of her son, Holly was told "I'm sorry" by doctors and nurses. She wanted to erase the "I'm sorry-s" in the delivery room so she started the "I Am Who I Am" foundation so that every child born is given the same amount of love and opportunities, no matter the disability. She began to bring special blankets and pamphlets of information to the hospitals to raise awareness and encourage hospital staff to welcome all newborns into the world with the same enthusiasm.
Now that her son is getting older, Holly realized there isn't a lot of opportunity for teens and adults with special needs. She created a bath and body product line called "I Am" to raise awareness and give those teens and adults with special needs more opportunities. Schools are now involved and teach students about all aspects of business and teach life skills. Students package, label and create artwork for the products. They are given the opportunity to work and make money by selling the bath bombs and soaps at events and craft fairs.
More on "I Am Who I Am": iam-whoiam.com/
"I Am" Products: iam-whoiam.com/shop
Four Star Chicagoan: Holly Simon