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Two Valley girls featured in Times Square presentation

Tamia Wilson and Samatha Derivan
Posted at 9:59 PM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 15:26:19-04

PHOENIX — Two girls from the Valley are about to be featured in a display at Times Square. It is all about promoting inclusion for those with Down syndrome.

Four-year-old Tamia Wilson is from Buckeye. The moment you meet her, you meet all of her. She has such a big personality.

"You're the star of the show," says Erica Wilson, Tamia's mother.

Every year, the National Down Syndrome Society features children, teens, and adults from all 50 states. They showcase their photograph on the jumbotron in Times Square.

"When she was born, they told us that she would have all these limitations… that she wouldn't walk until she was three, and that she wouldn't talk until she's five," says Erica.

Tamia is beating the odds. She is one of nearly 500 people included in the hour-long video presentation airing this Saturday. Each, and every, one of them was selected for a reason.

"Come on. Let's go!" cheers Samantha Derivan, selected for Times Square Video Presentation.

Samantha is the queen of spirit; she is the cheer captain for Casteel Unified Cheer. ABC15 met up with the Gilbert teen Tuesday as she led the squad during a football game.

"Let's go, Colts!" says Samantha.

She has quite a busy schedule for only being 17 years old. She is also in ballet and modeling.

"She's never afraid of anything," says James Derivan, Samantha's father.

Being featured in New York is just icing on the cake. Her parents are beyond proud of their talented young girl. "Speechless. It's hard to put that into words," says Derivan.

Samantha says when people look at her, whether in the "Big Apple" or in person, she wants them to know: "I'm caring, I'm loving and I'm caring about others who really need help."

As for Tamia's mother: "I think she’s a superstar and I think everybody should see that she’s a superstar."