Ambassador of Smiles: Brina Maxino on Defying Expectations in School and in Life

Throughout her life, numerous people have dismissed Brina Maxino’s capability to learn and keep up with kids her age -- all because she has Down Syndrome. 

Thanks to the encouragement and support of her parents, however, Brina managed to attend regular schools from pre-school to high school, waving off the special curriculum offered by specialized schools (and their expensive tuition fees). 

Brina is now 24 and a consummate achiever, working as an educator and reaping awards and accolades for her academic excellence (among others) 

Achiever and proud member of the “unified generation” 
As high school class Valedictorian, Certificate holder in General Clerical Skills, degree holder in Associate Arts and History Major, Brina went further than anyone -- except maybe her loving and supportive family -- ever expected. 

While studying hard for her degrees, Brina also became the Special Olympics Global Youth Ambassador representing Asia-Pacific. She was even invited as speaker at a White House dinner event by then-US President Barack Obama to talk about her advocacy, alongside other distinguished guests. 

Brina also spoke about anti-bullying at the 7th Stavros Niarchos Foundation Conference on Philanthropy in 2018. She was then appointed as one of the ten Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers by the Special Olympics in 2019, making the rounds in companies and schools around the world to spread her message of inclusion. 

Today, Brina works as an Associate Pre-school Teacher at PEAN Integrated School of Paranaque -- the same school who welcomed her as their first student with special needs. 

Brina Maxino as Colgate #SmileStrong Muse 
Brina’s dedication to the pursuit of academic excellence continues to inspire others -- special needs or none -- to rise above their struggles and better themselves through education. She continues to #SmileStrong at the future ahead of her, an incredibly positive attitude cultivated by her parents from the outset which motivated Brina to continue bagging achievement after achievement. 

For Colgate’s #SmileStrong campaign, Brina will be gracing a number of online speaking events to share her journey as well as encourage others to step up to the plate and give their best swing at life. 

Brina’s enthusiastic smile shines through her every speaking engagement, leaving no doubt in her rapt audience that it is, in fact, her abilities and not her disabilities that define her. “As a unified generation, let’s stand together and declare that we all matter!”, Brina says in one of her inspirational videos.
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