Peggy Mehen wants to make some changes in her life. She wants a new job. She wants to live independently. And her biggest dream is to be a supermodel. The fact that Peggy is a 40 year-old woman with Down syndrome has little impact on what she believes she can achieve. As a child growing up in the 1970s and '80s, Peggy belongs to a first generation of children with Down syndrome to be mainstreamed into schools--paving the way for today’s generation of parents and people with Down syndrome who continue to push boundaries and demand greater inclusion and better social and medical supports in the community.
Peggy’s Dreams: Living life with Down syndrome, was produced by Marisa Helms (marisahelms.com). Producer’s Note: The 1952 educational film heard in my story, In Our Care: Woodward State Hospital and School, is part of a 13-week series of documentaries about Iowa’s state institutions. The entire In our Care series is archived online at the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities website (mn.gov/mnddc).