'Don't limit yourself': Long Island girl with Down syndrome becomes a model

Alexia Rivera is a fighter in more than one way.

She has Down syndrome or what she likes to call "Up syndrome."

Alexia also overcame stroke and paralysis after a rare diagnosis of Moyamoya disease.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the 20-year-old founded a boxing class with her dad, Eddie, for those with differing abilities.

Now her latest venture is giving knockout a new meaning.

She’s a model and her photos are front and center at Sephora stores worldwide.

Alexia was inspired by British model Ellie Goldstein.

"She was just like ‘Oh my god, she has my face’ and so I said ‘Ok, let’s do it,’" said her mom, Alexandria.

Success is sweet for the whole family. Alexandria put her fashion career on hold to help chase her daughter’s dream.

"Just so proud of her," she said. 

Alexandria and Eddie have taught their daughter that beauty is beneath the surface.

"Beauty is within us," Eddie said. "It’s who you are, how you carry yourself."

Alexia is more well-rounded than most. She’s at BOCES five days a week learning graphic arts. She’s also a barista in training, boxes, and takes acting classes.

"I feel amazed by it," she said. "I don’t follow, I’m a leader."

Alexia has been featured in social media ads for CVS Beauty, she’s the face of swag for the VR game, SIMS and has other opportunities launching in the new year.