This guest post is by Andres Castillo, a young man on the autism spectrum is currently attending Valencia Community College. Andres 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.
I grew up with my family from Puerto Rico in my mom’s side and my stepfamily from Colombia in my stepdad’s side. I was very excited to get my high school diploma. I was really feeling emotional because I was glad that my high school graduation was over. Autism has been a challenge for me. As an adult I’ve learned to live with some of the challenges.
I graduated from grade school from a special program. I took a small bus throughout my school years in the states. I went to Boys Scouts with special needs students in sixth grade. After Thanksgiving, I got out because it was not for me. In seventh through ninth grade, I was a member of the Boys and Girls Club. In tenth grade, I was a member of the Spanish club. In my senior year of high school, I was a member of the National Honor Society.
I have been studying at a Community College for 5 years. In this fall semester, I will be going for my sixth year at a community college. Sometimes taking college courses online have been a challenge for me. Since the pandemic has started last year in March, I could not go back to campus. I went to visit my family on my mom’s side and my stepfamily on my stepdad’s side in Texas during Christmas after the pandemic had started. My college overall GPA will be a 2.81 out of 4.0 scale once this Spring semester is over, and my college cumulative GPA will be a 3.0 out of 4.0 scale. When I was in third of my freshman year at a community college, I was in Math Honor Society for being member of math club for two years in May 2019.
My educational goals are to earn my associate degree in general studies, and my bachelor’s degree in journalism and radio-television. Sooner or later, once I have my two bachelor’s degrees; I will be working on my master’s degree in film television at the age of 30. My career goals are being an actor, writing my songs in Spanish, news-reporting, broadcasting, and becoming an author. The reason I want to sing and write my songs is that I want to work in television. That is what I want to be. Somewhere in the music industry. Additionally, it helps me to travel all over the world. I will get to meet new people in every place and visit many countries. It is my dream to be famous. In my high school years I had to move to many states because of my dad’s job in the armed forces. I could not find a job to make money because I had to focus on my education in eight different states and one Hispanic country. I had been through many changes at school due to my moving experiences and my diagnosis of autism. However, my diagnosis has not stopped me from having a better education and my parents always taught me that is okay to be different, and to achieve and work for my dreams. I will be going to a TV school to learn about a job in music and film to earn my certificate in music and film during the summer.
Hopefully, this summer or next semester I will find a way to get a job. We have recently lived in the state of Florida for a year, and that has been difficult to secure money to pay for my tuition, and books that I will need for my courses. I hope to find scholarships to help with my goals and dreams to show the world that people, regardless if they have a disability or not, can be successful in life.
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.