Michigan Transition Services Association (MTSA) Conference 2020

March 16 - 18, 2020

Conference Keynote

Zack Gottsagen – Actor

Zack Gottsagen dreamed of being an actor as he grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida. While some thought Gottsagen’s acting goal seemed unlikely because he has Down syndrome, Gottsagen never let that stop him. He enrolled in a performing arts school and took acting lessons, and after years of training and dedication to the craft, Gottsagen achieved what many thought would be impossible. Listen to Zack’s amazing story that helped him land the lead role in The Peanut Butter Falcon.

Rachel Barcellona~Autism Advocate, Model, Author, Singer, Actress, Pageant Winner

Rachel has competed in several pageants in order to build her confidence, winning many national titles and using the platform for autism awareness to make a difference; to show that she can do anything!

Rachel currently serves as a board member for C.A.R.D. USF, and SafeMinds, and is an ambassador for The Unicorn Children’s Foundation, all which have impacted the lives of families and autistic children everywhere. The Unicorn Children’s Foundation has raised a quarter of a million dollars to help donate to families who don’t have money for the necessary therapies/resources for their children.

The Peanut Butter Falcon special screening for MTSA Members

The Peanut Butter Falcon is an adventure story set in the world of a modern Mark Twain that begins when Zack, a young man with Down syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler by attending the wrestling school The Salt Water Redneck. Through circumstances beyond their control Tyler , a small-time outlaw on the run becomes Zack’s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor , a kind nursing home employee with a story of her own, to join them on their journey.

 

Find more information on the MTSA website.

Event Location

Grand Traverse Resort
100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd
Acme, MI 49610