November 14th, 2011
07:21 AM ET
She’s known for her zippy one-lines and her unyielding loyalty to Coach Sue Sylvester on “Glee.”
Now actress Lauren Potter, 21, may have another major role.
President Obama announced his intent to appoint Potter and Julie Ann Petty, a project trainer who focuses on educating people with intellectual disabilities, as members of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.
In a press release statement Obama said, “I am grateful that these talented and dedicated individuals have agreed to take on these important roles and devote their talents to serving the American people. I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”
The President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities provides advice about intellectual disabilities to the president and the secretary of Health and Human Services. This can include education, homeownership and workplace integration issues.
This committee consists of 21 citizen members appointed by the president and 13 federal government members who meet periodically over a year and report findings to the president.
Potter, who plays Becky Jackson on “Glee,” said in a statement: “It is important to me that people with intellectual disabilities are represented and treated fairly and are given the same opportunities as every other American.”
“Our challenges are the same as many others, we want to be safe in school—free from bullying and teasing, we hope to be welcomed at parks, recreation centers and other community activities, we worry about jobs and where we will live but mostly we want to be treated how you want to be treated - with respect!”
Potter who has Down syndrome, has routinely spoken about her troubles growing up as a special needs child.
"Like so many other kids with special needs, I have been bullied," Potter told People magazine earlier this year. "Kids in elementary school made me eat sand, and those same boys would walk behind me, teasing me. Finally I had enough, and I told them to 'grow up.' "
She graduated from Polytechnic High School in Riverside, California, and she is currently a student at Irvine Valley College.
Potter has been involved in several advocacy projects, including serving on an anti-bullying campaign with Abilitypath.org, working with the Special Olympics, Down Syndrome Association and the American Association of People with Disabilities.
“I never thought I could be an actress, but I am. I never thought I would be a presidential appointee and I am!” Potter said in a statement. “The possibilities are endless for anyone and that is what I hope to help bring to this committee - a real life example that with a supportive community and an encouraging country we all can live the American dream!”
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