Speakers Bureau – Tony Piontek

Tony Piontek – New Iberia, LA

If you would like to contact this speaker, please email info@ndsccenter.org. The NDSC is posting this list of self-advocate speakers for informational purposes only. We will forward your contact request to the speaker so they may follow up with you directly.

Hi, my name is Tony Piontek. I was born in Guayama, Puerto  Rico on January 16, 1974 but, my family relocated to New Iberia, Louisiana and when I was seven years old and I now live with my parents there and I’m a Cajun’. We are a big family. I have four older brothers and two older sisters. Along with my parents, they have always been my models, teachers and supporters. 

My high school curriculum was a Combination student, Regular/SpecialEd . I was a Peer Tutor and active in the Library Club. I graduated from New Iberia Senior High in 1994. Our 20th Reunion will be 2014.   

I have worked at our Main Library, fine restaurants and in catering. I now have worked at Lowe’s for Lowe’s Home Improvement for over a year. It will make me two year on February 2, 2013, My job is in Customer Service, Safety, and Returns. I’m in training now and working on a level II Paint test right now. 

Scouting is a major part of my life. I am an Eagle Scout and continue to help a Troop as their Assistant Scoutmaster. I still strive to be an example and to inspire the young boys to live the Scout values. I teach at the University of Scouting and recently helped develop a program for adults wanting to charter troops for boys with special needs. To solve any communication problems. I took sing language classes and earned my Interpreter Strip at the Diocese Deaf Action Center.  

Every year I train and compete in Special Olympics Aquatics even at International Games. This will be my twenty third year and I’m excited about it, as always. My hope now is to renew my Athlete as Officials requirements as a Stroke & Turn and Timer or to compete either way is GREAT for me. Who knows this could be swimming again or maybe tennis or cycling? Preparing for the 2014 National Games held in New Jersey. “Pray and WISH me the best.” 

I often speak to groups about perseverance and reaching goals. I really hope my message helps others to follow their dreams.      

I am on the Advisory Board for the Down Syndrome Association of Acadiana as their Self Advocate.  For their special events.  I’ve been everything from Santa Claus to photographer to being on T.V. promoting fund raisers.  As a new NDSC Board member, I’ve ben thinking of ways to highlight Ds awareness on a National level and would like to research what it would take to have a Ds Awareness U.S. Postal Stamp. I’ll keep you “posted”.  

Although I have a big family, my six siblings live away. and I still enjoy being home with my parents.  This is “grand central station”, you know!  I plan on living on my own some day. They always seem to live in exciting places, so I’ve been able to travel with family. to Italy, France, Corsica, Poland, Germany, Austria, Mexico and many other cities in the U.S. over the years.  

Lastly, is this.  I keep myself busy in my free time and these are the things I do.  

Catholic activities:
Youth ministry, adult retreats, alter serving, school parade mascot (I’m a manda), flower bed ministry

Community Volunteering:
St.Francis Diner, Trash bash, hurricane relief, public speaking to schools and civic organizations 

Special Olympics:
Competitive swimming, (attended two International Games 1995 new Haven, CT as Stroke&Turn and 

Timer Judge, 1999 Raleigh Durham, NC as an official athlete swimmer. cyclist. Athlete As Official and Global Messenger ONLY for our State of Louisiana to attend the World Summer Games. 

Down Syndrome Association of Acadiana:
Local Self Advocate, Advisory Board, Past Acadiana Board of Director, SAC member, Self Advocate Leadership Council, International Coalition For Life, (IDSC) Self Advocate interpreter and to communicate with people who are hearing impaired to give them a voice. 

Catholic Committee on Scouting Religious Awards received:
2011 William J McGoffen Award (received on October 12, 2011)
2010 St. George Award
2009 Bronze Pelican Award
2008 Scouting Scroll of honor