He has WINGS

Frankie Antonelli

Frankie is a smart, handsome, funny, athletic, and popular 15-year-old. Like his two brothers, and many other kids his age, he is an active young man and plays basketball, soccer, baseball, kickball, golf, and he swims. Unlike his brothers, Frankie happens to have Down Syndrome- a genetic abnormality that is a part of him, but in no way defines him or who he is.

"[Frankie] is very funny," his father Frank says. "Very entertaining and loving. He has affected our whole family. As a dad, he teaches me patience. If I have a bad day, he always has a smile and a hug for me. He's a very special child. You don't have to say 'needs.' He's just special."

While Frankie is lucky to have a great support system in his family, friends and school, he has unfortunately known what it feels like to be picked on and bullied, and he wants to make an impact on students by sharing his own experiences in an effort to end bullying.

Frankie’s parents, Frank and Debbie, have begun an anti-bullying foundation called Frankie and Friends. As part of this campaign, Frankie has speaking engagements where he shares an important message with others: "I am more like you than I am different."

"I like P.E., Math, and lunch. I bet we like a lot of the same things!" Frankie says. "If we play kickball, you want ME on your team because I’m a good player!"

In a recent speech he gave to students at St. John's University in New York City, Frankie shared just that message. He also talked about how hurtful the "R word"- a word that he refuses to use- can be, and he said, "It is important to make good choices. If you say mean things, you are being a bully, and being a bully is not a good choice. Please be nice and show respect to everyone."

We couldn’t agree more with Frankie and his inspirational message, and while he’s soaring already, we are glad to give this bright young man WINGS!

Frankie is also a bit of a singer! Check out the performance he gave at a school talent show!




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