This guest post is by Ben Logel, a young man on the autism spectrum who has been accepted and is attending Mitchell College studying Zoology. Ben is applying for the Spring 2020 Making a Difference Autism Scholarship via the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference started by me, Kerry Magro. I was nonverbal till 2.5 and diagnosed with autism at 4 and you can read more about my organization here. Can I ask for a favor? I’m trying to make this nonprofit self-sufficient so I can make this my full-time job supporting the special needs community and would appreciate you taking a minute before reading on to watch this video below and subscribing to our Youtube page here to get to learn more about the work we do in the community.

I hope you can support my nonprofit like I’m trying to support these students with scholarship aid for college. Learn more on how you can help our cause with a small donation (just asking for $3 today, equal to your daily cup of coffee) here.

My name is Ben Logel. When I was 2 years old, an early development specialist told my parents that I had “severe autism and would never live a normal life” Well, I have proven her wrong. I still have autism, but it doesn’t hold me back from anything. In fact, I am proud of who I am. I have been involved in my school, my community and have been a leader in many ways.

I have spent many hours volunteering my time and giving back to others. I have enjoyed volunteering at the Mystic Aquarium for the past five years. During my time there, I was able to complete and become a docent educating the visitors, working behind the scenes doing animal care, cleaning tanks and doing enrichment activities with the stingrays. This volunteer experience has been very enjoyable and will also help me towards my career and profession in animal sciences and zoology.

I would like to share with you that I have autism but that has never held me back. I have been involved in both Varsity sports at Stonington High School as well as all Unified Sports and activities since my days in middle school. On all of these teams, I have been a strong leader showing other all students and ones with disabilities that they should be proud of who they are and to get involved in as much activities as possible,  most importantly to never give up.

In 2016, I was selected and interviewed for CPTV- Story of Lineman Ben Logel. This TV interview focused on my disability and high school football highlighting how I was a leader and an important part of the Stonington High School Varsity Football team.

I have volunteered many hours over the past 7 years supporting other students with a variety of disabilities to show them and give them support and confidence. In 2014, I was the recipient for the State of CT Spirit of Life Award which focused on my enthusiasm, positivity and leadership supporting others.

I participated in the Thames Program at Mitchell College from 2018-2020. Since then, I have been a mentor for incoming potential students for the Thames Program who have disabilities to help them learn about the college experience, dorm life and how-to self-advocate for what you need. Beginning September 2020, I will be entering my second full time school year at Mitchell College, living on campus and participating in many school programs both intramurals and other student led clubs so I can continue to stay involved volunteering in school events and support other students at Mitchell College.

As far as my educational and career goals, I will be planning to focus my efforts on animal sciences and zoology so I can continue towards my passion for animals. Someday I hope to be employed with an organization that helps to make sure animals are well cared for, respected and supported by research. There are many organizations around the world that I have learned about and hope to possibly work for when I graduate. These organizations are well respected and keep the animals as a priority focusing on animal welfare, making sure the many animals that I love and care about can live in their natural habitats.

Follow my journey on Facebook, my Facebook Fan Page, & Instagram!

My name is Kerry Magro, a professional speaker and best-selling author who is also on the autism spectrum that started the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference in 2011 to help students with autism receive scholarship aid to pursue a post-secondary education. Help support me so I can continue to help students with autism go to college by making a tax-deductible donation to our nonprofit here.