MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis man was selected from thousands to appear in a video in New York City.

Shepards Haven ministry at Bellevue Baptist Church is truly a haven for Alvin Walker. It’s a space where he and other adults with special needs get to have a good time while his sister Doretha Staples knows he is safe and supervised.

“I know on Fridays they have bible study. They go to the library,” Staples said. “They take them on field trips, so they do a lot for them that he enjoys.”

This is important to Staples. For a few years, she and her husband have been taking care of Alvin full-time in Memphis, but as a big sister, she’s always cared for him.

“I had to be the one to protect him from kids that were picking with him. At home, he was quiet. Like any other normal kid, he would play, talk, watch TV, and get in trouble just like the rest of us,” Staples said.

Now, Alvin is 62 years old and doesn’t talk as much but a major trip to New York City for a major honor got him going.

Alvin was in the bright lights of Times Square representing Memphis, Tennessee, as part of a national video presentation with about 500 pictures of people of all ages with Down Syndrome.

“August 1, I received an email saying ‘Congratulations, he was picked,'” Staples said.

He was selected from more than 2,400 entries.

“I almost burst into tears. I was like ‘Omg.’ He kept saying ‘What’s wrong’ and I said ‘Nothing, I’m just happy,'” Staples said.

For Alvin and his friends at Shepards Haven, it’s a reminder they are leaving an impact on the world by being themselves.