The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
666 Broadway, 8th Floor
New York New York 10012

NDSS Buddy Walk® on Washington Champion of Change Awards

As part of the Buddy Walk® on Washington, NDSS honors those in the Down syndrome community who work tirelessly throughout the year as self-advocates, advocates, leaders and change-makers in the area of public policy and advocacy for people with Down syndrome.  Each year, NDSS honors a self-advocate, an individual advocacy leader, an NDSS DS-Ambassador, a Buddy Walk® organization and a Down syndrome advocacy group.

Past recipients are listed below. The 2016 Champion of Change awards will be given their awards at the 2016 Buddy Walk® on Washington. Join us by registering today!


NDSS DS-Ambassadors of the Year
Sherri Harnisch, Nebraska
Lynn Braker, Kentucky
Self-Advocates of the Year
Garrett Holeve, Florida
Ashley DeRamus, Alabama
Individual Advocate of the Year
Charles H. Gerhardt, III, Ohio

Buddy Walk® of the Year
Down Syndrome Association of South Texas (San Antonio, Tx)

Organization of the Year
Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA)


DS-Ambassadors of the Year
Stef Caldwell, West Virginia
Brad Pitzele, California
Self-Advocates of the Year
David Egan, Virginia
Angie Cain, Indiana
Advocates of the Year
Patti Saylor, Maryland
Gerard Jimenez, Texas
Vince Randazzo, Virginia

Buddy Walk® of the Year
Up with Downs/Fargo, North Dakota
Organization of the Year
Think College


Nikki Davis
Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human 
and Human Development (NICHD)
Daniel Goodrow
Richard Kosmalski
Connor Robert Long
Jawanda Barnett Mast
Richard Peck


Craig Blackburn
Bridget Brown
Jenn Sikora
D.A.D.S. National
Down Syndrome Association Greater Cincinnati (DSAGC) Buddy Walk®


Donald Bailey
Sarah Brachman
Mary McHale
Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC)


John Anton
Steve Beck
Doris Erhart
Alexander Reid
Down Syndrome Indiana GAC
Maryland Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition (MDAC)

  • Buddy Walk
  • NDSS Yourway
  • My Great Story
  • NDSS DS-Ambassadors