Melanie Segard is 21 years old, with a bright smile, a love of parties and restaurants, and a job at a packaging company.
And, oh yes: She also happens to have Down syndrome.
“I’m different,” the French woman states on her official Facebook page, “but I want to show everyone that I can do a lot of things.”
But there was one thing she had always wanted to do that had eluded her: to present the weather on television.
It seemed an improbable dream for someone with Down syndrome. Segard couldn’t read or write, according to Le Parisien, and had no broadcast training.
But her lifelong wish was picked up by Unapei, a French nonprofit that advocates for “an inclusive and supportive society.” It asked: Why couldn’t a woman with Down syndrome present the weather on TV?
“These are people who, despite their disabilities, have abilities,” Unapei’s president, Luc Gateau, told the French news site La Croix, according to the Independent. And they “only ask to express them on condition that we take the time to welcome them in a universe able to adapt to their handicap.”
In late February, the group launched a Facebook campaign in French titled “Melanie peut le faire” – “Melanie can do it” – that outlined her goal in the simplest terms.
“Hi everyone, my name is Melanie,” the group wrote on Segard’s behalf on Feb. 27. “And my dream is to present the weather.”
Read on—and check out the video above to see what happened.