The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) was thrilled to have actor and advocate Lauren Potter speak at this year’s annual conference held in Scottsdale, AZ. Lauren addressed the gathering of senior leaders representing over 200 organizations about what it was like growing up as a person with Down syndrome, and how dreaming big has led her to an accomplished career, both as an actor and an advocate for those with special needs.
Best known for playing the recurring character, Becky Jackson, a high school cheerleader with Down syndrome during Glee's six-season run, Lauren has received multiple awards and recognition for her work as an actor and as an anti-bullying advocate. In addition to her television and screen work, Lauren has served as an ambassador for the Special Olympics World Games and was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.
Lauren is a huge supporter of Best Buddies International, an i4cp partner and the world's largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). i4c published a groundbreaking study in late-2014 in partnership with Best Buddies that found that there is positive impact to the bottom line for organizations that hire people with IDD. Lauren shared her own experience with Best Buddies, how the organization has helped make her dreams a reality, and how it can help others with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve their own dreams .
She ended her speech with words we can all take to heart. “I want to live in a world where everyone can live, go to school, and go to work without having to be afraid—afraid of being judged, afraid of being bullied or cyber bullied, afraid of new things, afraid of failure, afraid of dreaming.” You can watch the full speech in the video below.