Paul Safarik loves Harry Potter, Josh Groban and playing musical instruments. Every Thursday, you'll find him doing just that.
"I think I was like three years old when I first started," said Safarik.
Paul plays the baritone. He's always excited for people to hear his musical talent, especially when he performs with the Lincoln Community Concert Band.
"I’ve got several more instruments in my room downstairs,” he said, “a baritone and ukulele."
Paul Safarik has down syndrome, and Thursday is World Down Syndrome Day in the state of Nebraska.
"We didn't know that Paul had down syndrome until he was about six months old,” said Deb Safarik, Paul’s mother.
“Most kids with down syndrome don't fit a specific stereotype. When we found out, we were shocked and surprised. We didn’t know much about it.”
Deb Safarik is the president of the Down Syndrome Association for Families in Nebraska. The group provides support to families and holds year-round events for children and teens with down syndrome.
"We've always had a mission in reaching out to anybody in the whole state to support them and help them feel not alone."
Paul is one of the millions of children in the United States with down syndrome, and his mother says his abilities never cease to amaze her.
“We've learned that when we give Paul opportunities... when people let him do his best and support him that he does amazing things.”