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GTO cadet wins award from the National Down Syndrome Society

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - A Roanoke man is heading to New York City in September to be recognized nationally for raising awareness and promoting understanding of people with Down syndrome.

The Dan Piper Award is given by the National Down Syndrome Society to people like Tyler Caldwell, who break down barriers in their communities.

Tyler was in the first graduating class of the Growth Through Opportunity program.

Travis Akins is the coordinator of the GTO program.

"He's an extraordinary young man who will not take no for an answer," Akins explained. "He's going to be successful in life not matter what and he raises the bar for everybody, not just those with varying disabilities or Down syndrome. He sets the bar extremely high and we're very proud of him."

"People see him who have this preconceived idea about people with Down syndrome and he makes them more comfortable," said Kathy Caldwell, Tyler's mom.

Tyler and his mom Kathy will travel to New York City in September to accept his award.

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