This guest post is by Kristen Renee Chew, a young woman on the autism spectrum who was accepted into Lock Haven University. Kristen is applying for the Spring 2021 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.
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 developmental disability inspired me to attend college and better my life. During early childhood, I exhibited traits of autism. As I grew older, I was eventually officially diagnosed with Aspergers. Being on the autism spectrum came with difficulties as I had to face social stigma and bullying from other students. Additionally, I felt different than everyone else around me. These negative experiences in my life (especially being physically bullied) caused trauma which eventually led to unfortunate situations. I felt conflicted because of the uncertainty of my potential as someone on the autism spectrum. Life did not start out in the positive way I had expected. I began to lose focus on my education and long-term goals all because I was anxious about my autism becoming a hindrance in my life.
After realizing that my fears and low hopes were not getting me anywhere, I actively sought help, including counseling, medical care, and designing a life plan for my future. I volunteered at local communities. I even found my career passion which is accounting. Little do people know my potential as a student who has overcome obstacles to pursue my dream of becoming a college graduate and obtaining a degree, exemplifying academic strengths and career possibilities one can achieve, despite facing developmental disabilities.
With an interest in assisting others to become financially stable, I am pursuing a college degree in accounting. In an economy where budgeting, investments, insurance, and other income-based decisions must be taken with great precaution, there comes a need for advice. With my passion towards numbers and finances (as well as my willingness to help others) it is in my interest to create financial plans, give budgeting advice, and assist with tax and other related forms. Therefore, my goal is to become a certified public accountant.
As someone who has been through former hardships and is struggling financially herself, I can certainly empathize with other families who are in need of guidance. There is nothing more satisfying than helping individuals experience a stable life and a bright future. Showing them the necessary skills to budget will be the very first step. Don’t bills and other expenses seem like a lot to juggle financially? They often are…unless there is a financial plan in place. Fortunately, it becomes easier when assisted by an accountant who specializes in that field. I am definitely blessed to have the opportunity to pursue my career path in accounting. Every school year, I will be able to take the courses I need and learn the proper skills to achieve my goal of becoming a public certified accountant.
To conclude, I have a goal and I am well prepared for what the future holds, because only I control what is ahead for me. With consistent work and effort in my education, I am confident that I will obtain my degree and become what I envision. I hope to make a better life not only for myself but for others as well. Furthermore, being on the autism spectrum has taught me much about what I am capable of and has given me the opportunity to find my true potential.
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.