This guest post is by Liam Horner, a young man on the autism spectrum who was accepted into Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Liam 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.
Having autism and struggles at a young age has been an experience or wild ride that I chose to forget, but autism gives me a unique set of abilities that are initially barred by many problems that are out of the ordinary. I struggled my whole life with making friends, socializing and with some people who I thought were helpful or nice up until somewhere around the middle of ninth grade.
I have had to “deal” with things like having friends that seem genuinely nice and fun to be around but turn around and bully or betray me in the end. Having a math disability or having to switch schools twice isn’t something that one can come out of as the same person after the fact. I am seen as typical now because I never use autism as something that was holding me back. I’ve always just accepted that I have it and move on.
I always said I was typical to other people, and when I do something that might be autistic or atypical, then I would figure out how to mask it. Overall it’s been a struggle, but I am happy now to know that I have earned my acceptance into college. I feel confident that with this education, I will land a great job that will support me, no matter where I end up.
The decision to start working in the food industry and becoming invested in the trade is no easy task! I previously had no idea what I wanted to do with my life after high school so taking the leap into something unknown is always hard for anybody trying something new. I have to say it was worth it though because I have 3 certifications before I go to college and be totally prepared for it when I go. In the end, I learned that hard work and dedication can make any plan come to fruition.
I am looking to make a positive impact in a baking/culinary work environment. I want to be the best worker I can be for the job I work at, even if it ends up not being exactly what I wanted out of my life after college. I hope to contribute a good attitude to my work environment as well as being passionate about my work and enjoy it. I hope to solve issues like worker incompetence and try to keep myself and others at a relatively low stress level. These sound relatively basic, but are real problems in the industry. Some people want to have the job but when they get there, they don’t actually like it and stop contributing to the work environment. I am hoping to change that.
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.