Down Syndrome Coalition for El Paso
Board Members

The Down Syndrome Coalition for El Paso is led by a group of parents, grandparents, and community members who recognize and embrace the joy that individuals with Down syndrome add to life.

Nancy Casteneda, President
Nancy Casteneda, President
Buddy Walk Committee Co-Chair

As a mom to a precious child with Down syndrome, I noticed an absence of resources in El Paso and I wanted other families to have access to resources I didn’t. Thankfully, I found the DSC and a community that had the same passion and drive as me.

Through my involvement in the DSC, I want to create a better future for all individuals with Down syndrome by advocating and creating opportunities and resources within our community. I have encountered so many families walking in the same shoes as me. Hearing their stories has made me a better mother for my daughter.

The DSC relies on the generosity of those willing to make a difference. While our services and programs directly impact individuals with Down syndrome, I believe promoting inclusion and acceptance benefits the community as a whole.

Will S. Harvey, Vice President
Will S. Harvey, Vice President
Finance Committee Chair, Nominations Committee Chair

I joined the DSC because I noticed a huge unfulfilled need in the community that needed attention and community awareness. My personal goals for the DSC include establishing a permanent location for our preschool, Every Little Blessing, and increasing our outreach to families of individuals with Down syndrome.

I’ve learned how Down syndrome impacts families and met amazing people through my involvement with the DSC. Being a part of the DSC presents a chance to have a real and lasting impact on the lives of countless members of our community. Get involved and start making difference.

Dr. Christina Paz, Board Secretary
Dr. Christina Paz, Board Secretary
Every Little Blessings' Beginnings Committee Chair, Summer Symposium Committee Chair

As a medical professional and a mother to a beautiful child with Down syndrome, I recognize the need for support, resources and education for individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

The DSC gave my family a sense of hope and community at a time when we felt lost and isolated. It is my goal to make the DSC a household name: an organization providing information and a community of support that feels like family.

We need your help to get our mission out in the community, to educate the public on Down syndrome and to advocate for workforce opportunities to individuals with Down syndrome. Join the DSC, and gain a whole new family.

Felipe Martinez, Community Relations Vice President
Felipe Martinez, Community Relations Vice President
Buddy Walk Committee

The birth of my daughter opened my eyes to the lack of resources and support for families of children with Down syndrome. Through my involvement with the DSC, I hope to spread awareness and educate the community on behalf of all individuals with Down syndrome.

Being a part of the DSC has taught me to celebrate life and live in the moment. I invite you to get involved with a non-profit you are truly passionate about. Whether you get involved through a donation of your time or financial resources, knowing you’re a small part of a great cause is truly rewarding.

Anna Maria Anchondo, Board Member
Anna Maria Anchondo, Board Member
Volunteer Coordinator, Annual Easter Party Host, Buddy Walk Committee

I have the honor of knowing incredible individuals with Down syndrome, including my daughter, and I believe they deserve an open community. My goal is to help establish a community that gives my daughter and others with Down syndrome the opportunity to grow and reach their personal dreams, including education and employment.

The DSC has become a family to us, giving me a safe place to express myself and an opportunity for my daughter to socialize and find a sense of belonging. I want others to benefit from the welcoming community and resources the DSC offers. With your support, we can make this happen.

Araceli Rocha Berumen, Board Member
Araceli Rocha Berumen, Board Member
Programs Committee Chair

I have a wonderful teenage son with Down syndrome and I want to help El Paso become an innovative city that provides many different types of programs and resources to individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

I have met so many wonderful families, and through their experiences and my own, I’ve seen the great need our city has better resources and programs for differently-abled citizens. My goal is to make El Paso an inclusive city for individuals with Down syndrome.

Families of individuals with Down syndrome have been neglected for far too long. Join the DSC in our efforts to make our city a better place for all citizens, including individuals with Down syndrome.

Tyson Carameros, Board Member
Tyson Carameros, Board Member

Having grown up with a physical handicap myself, I’ve always felt a calling to offer support to those who need it. I believe I can contribute a unique perspective to the Down Syndrome Coalition and feel fortunate to have the ability to participate in such an important and meaningful organization.

Being a part of the DSC has opened my eyes to how important it is to help create a positive, supportive, and compassionate environment for children with Down syndrome.

Through the DSC, I want to do my part to support families affected by Down syndrome in our community and meet other like-minded individuals who are committed to making El Paso a better place.

Joyce Y. Cordell, Board Member
Joyce Y. Cordell, Board Member
Marketing Chair, Buddy Walk Committee

After starting our local Buddy Walk, I joined the DSC to ensure families have the information they need, when they need it. I’m motived by the challenges I have experienced as a parent to a child with Down syndrome and work to make sure families understand their children’s rights.

The DSC has become an extended family to me and my daughter, giving us the opportunity to make a positive impact in the community and in the lives of children with Down syndrome and their families.

If you want to feel loved and your heart to start singing, assist the DSC in making a difference in the community. There is nothing better than a hug from one of our special buddies.

Greg L. Cory, Board Member
Greg L. Cory, Board Member
Finance Committee

To better serve the needs of my community, I joined the DSC. As the Vice-Chairman of El Paso Health, I felt the need to better understand the needs of children with Down syndrome and the impact it has on their families.

I believe a community-wide understanding of the needs of these children and their families will improve our society as a whole. I invite you to join our cause and learn more about Down syndrome and how you can make a positive impact in our community.

Dr. Carlos Gonzalez, Board Member
Dr. Carlos Gonzalez, Board Member
Finance Committee

coming soon

John S. McKee, Jr., Board Member
John S. McKee, Jr., Board Member
Fundraising Committee, Whole Hog Committee Chair

My granddaughter was born with Down syndrome and I want her to experience a life of inclusivity, not exclusion based on her abilities. Through the DSC, I want to expand Every Little Blessing, our preschool for children with Down syndrome, to serve children with other disabilities.

By enhancing the services provided to individuals with special needs, El Paso can become a destination for talented people who are blessed with a family member with special needs, rather than a place for them to avoid. With your help, the DSC can succeed in making El Paso a better place with a brighter future for all.

Dr. Amelia Rau, Board Member
Dr. Amelia Rau, Board Member
Christmas Party Committee Chair

As a bilingual speech-language-pathologist, I serve children, adults, and their families with a variety of communication needs, many with Down syndrome. Parent training, support, and encouragement are essential parts of who I am professionally. I see my role with the DSC as one of coming alongside and serving families in real world environments.

It is an honor and a joy to dedicate my career and service to enhancing the quality of life for individuals with complex communication needs. I have joined the DSC as an extension of my professional life to encourage and promote inclusive community opportunities for individuals with disabilities here in El Paso.

Belinda E. Walker, BSN, RN, Board Member
Belinda E. Walker, BSN, RN, Board Member
Calendar Committee Chair

As a healthcare professional, I hope to provide comfort and congratulations to families who receive a Down syndrome diagnosis. As a mother, blessed with a daughter with Down syndrome, I want to help the community I was raised in to be more accommodating and inclusive.

After continually promising myself that one day I would help more or get involved, I finally joined the DSC. Now that I’m involved, the DSC has become family to me and my daughter, and I hope to work on the development of programs for all ages and abilities. There will always be a need for involvement, donations and volunteers. Today is the day to get started. Join us!