Being‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌Spectrum‌ ‌has‌ ‌not‌ ‌Impeded‌ ‌Me‌; It has Empowered Me

This guest post is by Jaden Felder, a young man on the autism spectrum who was accepted into Kutztown University, Delaware State University, California University of Pennsylvania, Millersville University, and Norfolk State University. Jaden is applying for the Spring 2022 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.

Growing‌ ‌up,‌ ‌I‌ ‌always‌ ‌knew‌ ‌that‌ ‌attending‌ ‌college‌ ‌would‌ ‌be‌ ‌my‌ ‌first‌ ‌step‌ ‌in‌ ‌attaining‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌many‌ ‌goals‌ ‌and‌ ‌aspirations‌ ‌in‌ ‌life,‌ ‌nevertheless‌, ‌I‌ ‌knew‌ ‌my‌ ‌journey‌ ‌wasn’t‌ ‌going‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌easy.‌ ‌Getting‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌place‌ ‌in‌ ‌my‌ ‌life‌ ‌where‌ ‌I‌ ‌can‌ ‌formulate‌ ‌a‌ ‌college‌ ‌essay‌ ‌has‌ ‌presented‌ ‌numerous‌ ‌difficulties.‌ ‌I‌ ‌was‌ ‌diagnosed‌ ‌with‌ ‌being‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌Autism‌ ‌spectrum‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌age‌ ‌of‌ ‌3.‌ ‌The‌ ‌diagnosis‌ ‌of‌ ‌physical,‌ ‌emotional‌ ‌, and‌ ‌oral‌ ‌communication‌ ‌presented‌ ‌challenges‌ ‌through‌ ‌the‌ ‌years,‌ ‌yet‌ ‌perseverance‌ ‌and‌ ‌diligence‌ ‌have ‌led‌ ‌me‌ ‌through‌ ‌my‌ ‌tough‌ ‌times.‌ ‌I‌ ‌am‌ ‌very‌ ‌grateful‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌help‌ ‌and‌ ‌support‌ ‌of‌ ‌my‌ ‌parents,‌ ‌and‌ ‌countless‌ ‌educators‌ ‌who’ve‌ ‌been‌ ‌great‌ ‌advocates‌ ‌throughout‌ ‌my‌ ‌educational‌ journey.‌ ‌ ‌

Being‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌spectrum‌ ‌has‌ ‌not‌ ‌impeded‌ ‌me‌ ‌from‌ ‌participating‌ ‌in‌ ‌typical‌ ‌teenage‌ ‌activities.‌ ‌As‌ ‌a‌ ‌general‌ ‌milestone‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌teenager’s ‌life,‌ ‌I‌ ‌applied‌ ‌for‌ ‌my‌ ‌first‌ ‌job‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌age‌ ‌of‌ ‌15‌ ‌and‌ ‌to‌ ‌date‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌consecutively‌ ‌employed.‌ ‌I‌ ‌enjoy‌ ‌being‌ ‌a‌ ‌part‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌workforce‌ ‌that‌ ‌is‌ ‌providing‌ ‌me‌ ‌independence.‌ ‌The‌ ‌opportunity‌ ‌to‌ ‌become‌ ‌financially‌ ‌responsible‌ ‌to‌ ‌save‌ ‌for‌ ‌college‌ ‌is‌ ‌truly‌ ‌rewarding.‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

In‌ ‌my‌ ‌community‌, ‌I’m‌ ‌an‌ ‌active‌ ‌member‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Sigma‌ ‌Beta‌ ‌Club‌ ‌in‌ ‌Philadelphia,‌ ‌which‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌auxiliary‌ ‌group‌ ‌of‌ ‌Phi‌ ‌Beta‌ ‌Sigma‌ ‌Fraternity,‌ ‌Incorporated.‌ ‌This‌ ‌organization‌ ‌helps‌ ‌develop‌ ‌African‌ ‌American‌ ‌young‌ ‌males‌ ‌such‌ ‌as‌ ‌myself,‌ ‌develop‌ ‌leadership‌ ‌skills,‌ ‌participate ‌in‌ ‌monthly‌ ‌service‌ ‌activities‌ ‌, and‌ ‌address ‌the‌ ‌current‌ ‌issues‌ ‌of‌ ‌social‌ ‌and‌ ‌cultural‌ ‌awareness.‌ ‌I‌ ‌am‌ ‌also‌ ‌a‌ ‌member‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ Bucks‌ ‌County‌ ‌Chapter‌ ‌of‌ ‌Jack‌ ‌and‌ ‌Jill‌ ‌of‌ ‌America‌ ‌Incorporated.‌ ‌I‌ ‌enjoy‌ ‌participating‌ ‌in‌ ‌enrichment‌ ‌programs‌ ‌that‌ ‌focus‌ ‌on‌ ‌culture,‌ ‌social action, and‌ ‌teen‌ ‌leadership‌ ‌development.‌ ‌

While being an individual with autism has been a particularly challenging aspect of my life, it has not differed me from participating and excelling in sports. To describe me a little more, I live and breathe education and sports. At a young age, I’ve learned and studied the disciplined martial arts of karate. I have played on several sports teams in baseball, basketball, and swimming. Although I have attended an international Baccalaureate school I have been an active player for my neighborhood high school varsity football team and I have discovered that my true passion is to engage more in this sport. I would spend hours watching films about sports legends and memorable games. I am highly intrigued by the analytics, statistics, and various areas in learning more about this amazing sport.

While attending college, my plan is to study in the Arts of Mass Communication. This major I feel will prepare me to become a sports analyst. I am very fond of popular sports analysts such as Stephen A. Smith, Shannon Sharpe, and Stuart Scott. I enjoy watching them speak freely about their opinions on sports topics. I am reminded of myself when I watch these men speak as their energy and ability to describe and assess sports performance makes it vividly inspiring.

Many people would describe my journey on the spectrum as an obstacle, I see it as a blessing in disguise. I have learned about myself, my strengths, and my weaknesses, thus allowing me to challenge myself to be a better student, son, brother, activist, and athlete.

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.

Follow my journey on Facebook, my Facebook Fan Page, Tiktok, Youtube & 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.

Kerry Magro

Kerry Magro

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I used to have severe nonverbal autism. Today I’m a full-time professional speaker & best-selling author and autism-film consultant.

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I started a nonprofit to educate on neurodiversity and help give students with autism scholarships to go to college.

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