Down Syndrome comes in one out of every 691 new born babies. It is a condition in which extra genetic material causes delays in the way a child develops, both physically and mentally.
But Down Syndrome doesn't hold back Jeff High's very own Jalen Price.
Price is an outgoing, enthusiastic and compassionate junior at JHS. According to his teachers, Price makes an impact not only on his school each day, but every individual he comes in contact with.
¨At the beginning of high school, Jalen was a little reluctant to do things and try new things. But he has definitely matured a lot throughout his years here,¨ said Price’s homeroom teacher, Shelley Nanney.
Price is often referred to as the class clown by his peers. He is goofy and popular with all types of students, and is well-liked by all his classmates. He is exceptional student that excels in math, and loves coming to school everyday. Jalen also participates in a program in his class that allows him to work at a local business a few hours for two days each week.
¨Jalen talks about working all the time,” said Jalen’s mom, Tyrunsi Price. “This semester, he is workings at Rural King and he loves it there.¨
Price is involved in many different activities both inside and outside of Jeff. Probably his most proud activity is that he is the manager for this year’s boys basketball team, where Jalen is very well liked and respected by all of the coaches and players. According to coaches, he is a hard worker and takes great pride in doing all of the duties he is asked to do to the fullest.
¨Having Jalen Price as our manager this year has made a huge impact on our team,¨ said head coach Joe Luce. ¨He is as an important part of our team as our best player is, and we are very fortunate to have Jalen as part of our basketball program,¨
Additionally, Jalen has formed special relationships with all the players and coaches. He calls the players his teammates, and being the manager makes him feel part of the team. He says junior Bailey Falkenstein is his “favorite player by far,” and he has also made a strong relationship with him during the basketball season.
¨He was always singing and dancing, making the whole team laugh even the coaches,¨ Falkenstein said.
In the past, Jalen has participated in basketball, track, and football, and loves them all. He has even participated in the Unified track team for the past two years at Jeff High.
Outside of Jeff, Price is involved in other extracurricular activities, one being the Special Olympics. He is involved in bowling, and has gone to the Indiana state competition two years in a row now, where Jalen placed seventh place in his division.
Now that basketball season is over, Price will start back competing with Special Olympics for track and field and bowling. He is also very active in his church (Christ Gospel Church) and loves going to youth church. He is also very engaged with the group Down Syndrome of Louisville, where he is part of the dance team.
¨I am grateful to see he knows a lot of people, and people still come up and speak and hug him everywhere we go,” Tyrunsi said. “It’s great to see his disability doesn't stop him.¨