She always wanted to be a teacher, but her path to fulfilling her dream was laden with obstacles. Thirty-one-year-old Noelia Garella has Down syndrome.
As a child, the Argentinian woman was deemed a “monster” and rejected by her nursery school, according to Metro. But that didn't stop her from obtaining an education or from wanting to use that education to teach others.
Inside Edition reports that despite an official saying she should not take teaching classes, she persisted with the support and help of her parents, other instructors, and even town's mayor. Her determination paid off, and she was eventually allowed to take courses on teaching toddlers how to read.
But Garella's battle was not over, yet. There was still the matter of actually being hired to teach a class.
Garella found a place at the Cordoba school. Alejandra Senestrari, the former director of the school, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that Garella won them over:
“With time, even those who had been opposed joined in the initiative to hire Noe as a teacher. We very quickly realized that she had a strong vocation. She gave what the children in the nursery classes most appreciate, which is love.”
It is a remarkable accomplishment, one that made her the first person with Down syndrome to become a teacher in Argentina.
In the United States, Bryann Burgess gained a similar accomplishment. After enrolling in the University of South Carolina's CarolinaLIFE non-degree program, Burgess graduated and obtained her official educator license with Kindermusik in 2012.
For Garella, who has been teaching since 2012, the hard work was worth it— she is now doing what she loves.
“I adore this,” Garella says.