Monday, August 10, 2015

Kiwanis Camp Capstone featured on PSU's homepage!

A screenshot of the homepage of Portland State University.  There is a photo of three canoes on a lake, each one filled with people.  Behind the canoes, green fir trees stretch until Mt. Hood appears looming in the background.  On the left of the photo a semitransparent blue banner is overlayed, reading “A powerful partnership.”  Below this is a semitransparent white banner, reading “Kiwanis Camp capstone pairs PSU students and campers with special needs.  Learn more.”

The Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp Capstone is currently being featured in Inside PSU and displayed on the college's homepage at  The story spotlights undergraduate student Joe Beck and his experience at camp, and features quotes from program coordinator Ann Fullerton and graduate assistant Molly Moran about PSU's oldest continuing capstone.  If you're thinking about taking the capstone next year or just want to know more, this is a great place to start!

Read the article here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Infant with Down syndrome signs with modeling agency

Micah Quinones only a year old, but he already has a head start into a possible career.  Diagnosed with Down syndrome when he was three months old, the toddler was recently signed by the same modeling agent who represents his fashion-model mother Amanda Booth.

Tooth pain? Fruit popsicles to the rescue!

A photo posted by Micah Quinones (@lifewithmicah) on

Before Micah was diagnosed, Booth and her husband Mike Quinones had started an Instagram account for him called "Life with Micah" as a way to share photos with friends and family.  Soon, more and more followers came, finding it through Booth's own already-popular Instagram account.  The transition to modeling was natural; Booth says that Micah looks right into the camera as soon as it comes out, and that everyone tells him he's just like his mother.  The Instagram account didn't start out as an advocacy project, Booth notes, but it continued to grow in popularity after Micah's diagnosis, and he now has more than 39,000 followers. 

Micah's parents were first told that he might have Down syndrome by a nurse soon after his birth, who suspected the condition after noting Micah's almond-shaped eyes and folded ears.  Since these features could have been genetic or a result of complications during the pregnancy, however, Booth and her husband didn't see the need to take the four vials of blood from their newborn that would be needed for the test.  There had been no indications before Micah's birth, either; he displayed none of the heart defects many babies with Down syndrome have, and Booth and Quinones had opted not to do a prenatal screening, agreeing that the results wouldn't change anything. 

Last year 4th of July, and today. Thank you America, my family appreciates you. 🇺🇸

A photo posted by Amanda Booth (@amanda_booth) on

At their pediatrician's recommendation three months later, however, they did have the test completed.  Booth says that while she shed some tears and was scared at the diagnosis, not personally knowing anyone with Down syndrome, she soon realized that no number was going to change what she thought about her son.

Keep them wild. #drivewaybombs

A photo posted by Amanda Booth (@amanda_booth) on

Booth has also said that one of her goals in sharing photos of her family is to bring hope to other families who are also affected by Down syndrome.  Connecting with such families through Instagram has been very helpful for her, she says, and has enabled her to follow along with their journeys and milestones as she experiences her own.  Already called a spokesperson for Down syndrome-related causes by Mother Magazine, Booth still says she hopes that her involvement in the community will continue to grow.

You can follow Micah on Instagram here, and learn more about his and his family's story in Mother Magazine,, ABC news, Pregnancy & Newborn, and Buzzfeed.