WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A senior at Hirschi High School is working hard to raise awareness for more than 400,000 individuals like himself with Down syndrome.

Ryan Pineau is raising money for the 4th Annual Wichita Falls BuddyWalk, an event in October that celebrates individuals with Down syndrome like Ryan.

His mom Staci Cheatheam is Ryan’s number one supporter.

“We don’t really know a lot of people that have Down syndrome with his age,” Cheatheam said. “Anyway, we just decided this year was just a ‘Go for it’ year, so we thought, ‘Well, this is kind of the senior year, the concord year.”

Aside from his diagnosis, Ryan is just as active as any other high school senior. He participates in ROTC on campus, and he hopes to be a chef one day with his own restaurant.

“His goal is to be a master chef with his own noodle restaurant because we love noodles, and hopefully one day we can get to that goal, but we’ve kinda got to push him forward to be able to achieve this,” Cheatheam said. “He may have a disability, and it may take him longer to catch on, but he can still do anything anybody else can.”

None of these challenges can deter Ryan’s motivation.

All donations go to The Arc of Wichita County, with a portion of the proceeds going to the next phase of Wichita Falls’ all-inclusive special needs playground.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of disability things here for kids or for people, so I think that was another push to do it,” Cheatheam said.

So far, Ryan’s Rockstars have raised about 59% of his $5,000 individual goal, and they said they wouldn’t be able to do it without their friends from Red River Harley-Davidson.

“They’ve put out donation buckets every time they have a charity thing or a cookout, we’ve done it there,” Cheatheam said. “They’ve been kind of our sponsor and backbone. They like Ryan pretty good, huh?”

The BuddyWalk is scheduled to be held on Saturday, October 8.

There are 25 other teams raising money like Ryan’s Rockstars, working together to reach the $65,000 goal for the BuddyWalk.

You can click here to help Ryan meet his goal.