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Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta honors Lilburn resident

Bess Winebarger, a Lilburn resident who has mosaic Down syndrome, was presented the 2013 Buddy of the Year Award in September by the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta. (Special Photo)

Bess Winebarger, a Lilburn resident who has mosaic Down syndrome, was presented the 2013 Buddy of the Year Award in September by the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta. (Special Photo)

A Lilburn resident was honored Sept. 19 by the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta.

Anna Elizabeth “Bess” Winebarger, 25, who has mosaic Down syndrome, was presented the 2013 Buddy of the Year Award.

According to a news release, the award acknowledges, celebrates and gives recognition to an individual with Down syndrome over the age of 16 who excels in at least one area of talent and personal interest, demonstrates leadership qualities among his or her peers, volunteers time to enhance the lives of others, has made an important contribution to the community and serves as role model for other individuals with Down syndrome.

Winebarger will serve as an ambassador and representative of the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta.

The Lilburn resident graduated from Parkview High School in 2007 with a special education diploma before attending the Cobb Adult Education Program and earning her GED in 2008. In 2010, she achieved a lifelong goal of attending college and entered Kennesaw State University’s Academy for Inclusive Adult Education as a member of its second graduating class. At Kennesaw, Winebarger took college-level courses in acting, art history and world history and spent her second year interning in the arts’ department box office. She graduated from that program in May 2012.

Winebarger has regularly volunteered for several years as an usher for the Lyric and Aurora theaters. For the past year, she has been a volunteer at the Georgia Aquarium and has tallied 164 hours of service in the last 12 months working as an usher in the 4-D theater and dolphin show.

Since graduating from the program at Kennesaw, Winebarger is working to obtain a driver’s license. She hopes to find a job working in a box office in a theater in the Atlanta area.