'Glee' star tapped to join Obama's committee
November 14th, 2011
07:21 AM ET

'Glee' star tapped to join Obama's committee

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!”

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Sigh

    Does anyone copy edit/proofread these things before they get posted?

    November 14, 2011 at 08:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • elandau

      Hi, do you see a typo?

      Elizabeth Landau, CNN

      November 14, 2011 at 13:03 | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      "In a press release statement Obama said,"

      Shouldn't there be a comma after "statement"? "In a press release statement, Obama said,..."

      November 14, 2011 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
    • Anna

      @Ian: You don't necessarily need a comma after one prepositional phrase when it is at the beginning of the sentence – different understandings of the rules say you need a comma after a "long" prepositional phrase (more than four or five words) or after two prepositional phrases at the beginning of a sentence. So a comma is not necessary here (allowed, but not necessary).

      November 14, 2011 at 20:31 | Report abuse |
    • Hannah01

      To Ian: No there should not be a comma after 'statement.'

      November 14, 2011 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      Check out my audition!

      November 16, 2011 at 04:38 | Report abuse |
  2. Jenn

    The editors didn't learn about proofreading when they were growing up as a children.

    November 14, 2011 at 10:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Kathleen Farrell

    What an uplifting story. Ms. Potter is not only hysterically funny on "Glee," she is an inspirational leader in the drama of real life.

    November 14, 2011 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Sarah

    Great story, but hard to read between the typos!

    November 14, 2011 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. joanna

    and and

    November 14, 2011 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. TooClose2DC

    Is there something wrong with her???

    November 14, 2011 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Get Real

    Congratulations on your new assignment, Lauren! Looking at your background, I can see that you have been and will continue to be an important member of our society, with a wealth of wisdom for everyone you meet.

    November 14, 2011 at 18:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Franny

    Lauren has great comedic timing and an ever better sense of self, so she is going to excel at this job, too. Good luck to her!

    November 14, 2011 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Dmo

    That's pathetic.

    November 14, 2011 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. &

    Attempt to regain the youth vote for 2012?

    November 14, 2011 at 21:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Victoria AvgAm54

      why cant you just face the fact that the president genuinly cares about people? When he stays true to his heart and does the right thing, yes, it may be good for re-election but thats not the motive. His compassion and GOOD core convictions are why a majority of the country wanted him to be the pres in the 1st place. Afterall he IS the president and has a job to do. You cant say everytime he does his job it is soley for votes. I guess he took out bin-laden for soley for votes too huh? or repealed dadt just for votes? no maybe its becasue he cares about our civil rights and national security

      November 15, 2011 at 07:57 | Report abuse |
  11. ryan

    Nice. Lump all of us Republicans, who not all of us are rich, greedy and all about money because I for one sure am not. And don't be blaming all of this on us. There are Democrats in DC also who control one of the Houses so shut up and get back to the task of what this article is about.

    I don't watch Glee, never will because these type of shows have no use to me or my family, however, I am glad that this actress is being recognized and given this task.

    November 14, 2011 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. MashaSobaka

    You go girl! You are one of the highlights of that show...congrats on moving on to even bigger things!

    November 14, 2011 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Yomi Olalere

    The structure of the sentence should not pervade over its content. This is a great initiative and I'm indeed thrilled to see Potter being involved in helping the people in need.

    You don't know how hard life could be for someone who is intellectually disabled. Thank you Mr. President for the kind, generous and heaven-supported initiatives.

    You are definitely in for the second term except Americans are ingrates.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Mark Knight

    Didn't they use this same technique with the guy from House? That went nowhere fast, like I'm guessing this will.

    November 14, 2011 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Neurotoxin

    I'm all for equality and better treatment of the Intellectually Disabled, but really Mr. President, is this a priority right now? Don't you have a doomed-to-hang debt commission, an openly hostile Islamist government threatening to build nukes, double-digit unemployment, and a failed war in a desolate wasteland to worry about? There are a million things we CAN do for people, but resources aren't created by the Federal Reserve injecting fake money into the economy – they are LIMITED, and the first lesson of politics is setting priorities.

    November 15, 2011 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • George

      Priority?That may be right in those days the dinosaur walked the earth and for those who have not evolved since then. Wellcome to the age of multiple tasking. This President can juggle multiple tasks at a time, you'll find him attending dinner and catching terrorists all in a swap. With so much mess inherited and little time, we couldn't have been so lucky to have had this President in office meanwhile it is apparent you have not managed to keep up, those worrysome points that you raised are being duly dealt with!! Now let's give the president a hand on yet another positive decision!

      November 15, 2011 at 06:45 | Report abuse |
  16. jeff

    I would rather teach a classroom of students with Down's Syndrome than a class full of students who don't want to be in school.

    November 15, 2011 at 01:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Jaded

    Our whole family loves Glee and Becky is hilarious. Congrats to Lauren on her achievements.

    November 15, 2011 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Jeff

    Good for her, but I dislike it when people say what she said at the end: “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!” Not to be all "bah humbug," but for most people, the possibilities are limited by factors beyond our control.

    November 15, 2011 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Proud DS Dad

    It's great to have people like Lauren in the public eye and participating in policy discussions. Those who are not lucky enough to have a person with Downs Syndrome in their family rarely have an accurate view of what the condition does and does not mean. It is possible that a new battery of prenatal tests may mean that we will be a nation without Downs kids and adults. I would never question the right of a family decide if they did or did not have the emotional and financial resources to welcome a Downs baby into their family. But it would be nice to know that more people were making that decision with the best possible information. And it would be nice if we as a nation concluded that giving our Downs friends and neighbors a little extra help was a good investment. Lauren is helping on both fronts. You go, girl!

    November 15, 2011 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Sybaris

    “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.”

    Uh they are sweetie. Collectively they are called The House of Representatives.

    November 15, 2011 at 08:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Damian

    Lauren is a very positive and bright young lady. Wishing her the best!!

    November 15, 2011 at 09:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Shane

    Help me by checking out my audition!

    November 16, 2011 at 04:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Eli

    It's really awesome that Lauren has this opportunity to represent people with disabilities. She is the main reason why I watch Glee and I am sure she will be excellent in her endeavours to work with the President. She serves as a role model to many Americans, with or without disabilities. You go, Lauren!

    January 4, 2012 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
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