This guest post is by Cameron Meserve, a man on the autism spectrum who has been accepted and will be attending Thomas College. Cameron is applying for the Spring 2019 Making a Difference Autism Scholarship via the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference. You can read more about the organization and how to apply for our scholarship here. You can help our scholarship program continue to help these students by making a donation to our scholarship fund here (the majority of our scholarship program is ran through donors from our community such as yourself so no matter if you could donate anything, whether it be $5 anywhere up to $5,000 it would be making a difference!).

I was diagnosed with autism at the age of seven years old. Some things that have been difficult in the past is: talking to people, picking up on social signals, trying new things, and understanding sarcasm. When I was younger at recess I would not talk to any other kids, but instead with a teacher or walk around a playground. It use to be extremely hard to tell when people gave social signals, if they aren’t interested. Giving eye contact back to people has been difficult, especially when I am nervous. Trying new things has been a challenge. Some challenges that have gotten in the way have been; trying new food, driving, and asking a girl to dance. Now I have tried more things like food, even if I do not like all of it, having my license, and am not afraid of rejection from a girl.

I’m glad to say I can thank many people that who helped me cope with issues. First without my parents I would not be where I am today. They truly have been very supportive of my future, and my goals. My counselor Andy, I do not give enough credit to him. Without Andy, I would not have the skills, knowledge, confidence, or patience to help me get to where I am today. My friends, who have had my back through thick and thin, and who have helped me break out of my shell.

There is so many people to thank that have made a significant impact on my life, and I can’t even explain how blessed I am. As I have stated before dealing with issues in general can be hard, not impossible. I like to praise the way I was raised, and my mental toughness. Everything in life is attitude and a belief you can do something if you really want to put in the work. Hard work and determination can get you places. When I was born everybody doubted what I was going to do with my life but something inside of me wanted to prove the haters wrong. In life one will have doubters, but something nobody can take away from you is self belief. I truly believe people can accomplish more than they believe. It is not easy but it’s reasonable. A man named David Goggins told me, most of the time people are only giving forty percent effort because they have not pushed to their hundred percent.

The morale of the story is to have the right mindset in your life. I think this mindset has helped me cope with my worries and struggles. Without the people in my life I could not imagine what my life would be like at this moment. I think my climax was my freshman year of high school, that’s when I started to make my friends. The majority of my friends ran cross-country and track with me so it’s fun to see them a lot, and workout with them. I have learned that everybody struggles with something, and most people have a way to cope with their issue. For some its struggles like diet, obesity, depression, anxiety, and problems I do not even realize.

Sure, autism may be hard to cope with sometimes for me but now it has gotten much easier. Life will bring obstacles no matter who you are… you just have to be ready for it.

Follow Kerry’s journey on Facebook, his Facebook Fan Page, & Instagram!

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

Also, consider having Kerry, one of the only professionally accredited speakers on the spectrum in the country, speak at your next event by sending him an inquiry here. If you have a referral for someone who many want him to speak please reach out as well! Kerry speaks with schools, businesses, government agencies, colleges, nonprofit organizations, parent groups and other special events on topics ranging from employment, how to succeed in college with a learning disability, internal communication, living with autism, bullying prevention, social media best practices, innovation, presentation best practices and much more!

We’d also appreciate if you could take a minute to create a Facebook Fundraiser to support our nonprofit’s scholarship fund! You can learn more about how you can do just that here.