Born on July 1, 2016, Mateo Noah Filiciello has been impacting lives and bringing joy to everyone since he came into the world. Overcoming several health-related surgeries before turning 1 years old, Mateo has maintained a joy and passion for life that never goes unnoticed. He is truly a heavenly angel in our midst. In addition to his million-dollar smile, he has a heart of gold and an extreme desire to learn.

At the tender age of 3 years old, Mateo is able to recognize and pronounce every single letter of the alphabet. The same can be said of the numbers 1-20. Mateo learned these valuable skills within just a couple months of practicing with his family. And he isn’t done yet!

Reading is a huge passion of Mateo’s. Mateo loves books! Thanks to his dedicated mom and dad, Mateo has successfully read (listened to his parents read to him) over 4,000 books. Originally starting with the goal of reading 1,000 books before kindergarten (after getting the idea from the non-profit “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten”), Mateo’s parents saw how much he really enjoyed story time. As a result, for the last 3 years they have read to him an average of 10-20 children books every morning when he wakes up and every night before he goes to bed. And as a result, when Mateo is at daycare, he can be frequently found next to the classroom library with 3 or 4 books spread out on the floor before him. There’s no doubt that this young man loves to learn!

In addition to being a local celebrity in Atlantic City, NJ, Mateo was recognized on the billboard in New York City’s Time Square in 2018 for the National Down Syndrome Society, has been featured in advertisements for “Pals Socks” across the country, won a dance contest at a local Catholic school’s International Night, and most recently was selected as an 2020 Ambassador for the International Down Syndrome Awareness Organization, Nothing Down. Mateo wears all of these honors and titles humbly, knowing that life is meant to be pure joy and love is to be given to all.

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