A 31-year-old woman in Argentina is believed to be the first person with Down syndrome to teach preschool in Latin America.
Noelia Garella is now one of the few individuals in the world with her condition to hold a teaching position, reports The Independent. For Garella, it’s a victory that didn’t come without its hardships.
Her own early education was fraught with obstacles. Garella’s first teacher called her a “monster” and then rejected her from nursery school class.
Several years ago when Garella began petitioning to become a teacher of early-learning reading classes, there was push back. At least one person in a position of authority did not think she should be allowed to have a class. But with the help of her parents, other teachers, and the mayor of her hometown of Cordoba, Garella finally won out.
In 2012 she joined the Cordoba public school system as a class assistant, reports Metro UK. Today she is jointly in charge of a her own class, along with another teacher.
Other countries have stories of people with Down syndrome who have become teachers. Bryann Burgess has the condition and teaches music in South Carolina, while 22-year-old Hannah Sampson is a dance teacher with Down syndrome in the UK.
For Garella, it’s a dream come true.
“I adore this,” she tells Metro UK.
“Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to be a teacher, because I like children so much.”