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“I was diagnosed with autism very early in my life. A very massive curveball was thrown at me and I missed the ball pretty bad. From the moment my parents found out that I had autism, it was hard for them to find a school for me where I will get a good education. Many people have doubted and bullied me or even underestimated my abilities because of my personal identity. Others supported me and believed in me that I have the gift to succeed like everyone else. To outsmart and silence the people who have hurt my feelings, I had to ignore the mean people and focus on my own game in order to get to where I want to be. Starting middle school, I was not on the diploma track. In the middle of 8th grade, I pushed myself to move to the advanced program to move forward in higher education. Before Christmas break of my senior year, I submitted all of my applications. When I returned to Village Glen to finish off my very last semester of high school, @thehelpgroup received the exciting news that I got into @paceuniversity and 3 of the other 6 schools I had applied to. After telling everybody that I got into college, I also get a word from the principals that I am going to be valedictorian for the Class of 2015 because of my high-academic academic standings. Achieving all of those things would have not been done without the help and support of amazing, hardworking, dedicated, and supportive friends, relatives. teachers, therapists, and administrators. When the doubters and bullies heard all of the news, they were furious because of what I did to prove them wrong. It is unfortunate that they still don’t give me the respect that I deserve when I accomplish anything. The truth is I don’t think about it so much, because I did my job to win the battle and that’s what counts. Words cannot express how proud I am with how far I have come in life after finding out that I had autism. I am currently a dean’s list political science and peace and justice studies student at Pace University. I have a passion to raise #autismawareness as an aspiring public speaker and providing more help and support to people who are on the autism spectrum.”

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