This guest post is by Brad Greissman, a young man on the autism spectrum who has been accepted into Adelphi University studying Political Science. Brad is applying for the Spring 2020 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. Can I ask for a favor? I’m trying to make this nonprofit self-sufficient so I can make this my full-time job supporting the special needs community and would appreciate you taking a minute before reading on to watch this video below and subscribing to our Youtube page here to get to learn more about the work we do in the community.
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.
The Nassau/Suffolk Chapter of the Autism Society of America (“NSASA”) holds a special place in my heart. It is an organization that provides free social and recreational opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum. My mom joined this organization shortly after I was diagnosed with autism, so that my family would have safe places to go where I could improve my social skills and learn how to communicate. As I matured, I was able to interact with my peers at school. Since I no longer needed to attend events as a participant, I chose to give back to this organization by becoming a volunteer. My volunteer work for the Nassau Suffolk Autism Society of America is very rewarding.
I love volunteering for the Autism Society of America for many reasons.
Whether I am checking in families when they arrive at an event, supervising children in play areas, or serving food in the concession area, I feel right at home with local families from my community. I have developed a great rapport with many of the children because I can relate to their obstacles, and I understand their frustrations. Parents feel comfortable knowing that I am there helping, supervising, and caring for their children. The parents can get a little break and network with other parents to share their resources and experiences. One quality that helps me do my volunteer job well is my patience. If a child is having a difficult time, I always am the first responder and will help the child through a setback, no matter how long it takes.
The last four years volunteering with the Autism Society have been incredible. It has been a remarkable experience watching hundreds of children grow into mature young men and women. Some members used to have a hard time eating in a restaurant, but now they can go to restaurants after practicing at our group’s Outback dinner events. Other members never attended a movie in a theatre before joining this group. Now they are comfortable to go with their family and friends because the organization’s sensory friendly movie events accustomed them to the whole movie experience.
Board Members and parents instill their trust in me because they know I am a responsible and hard-working individual. It’s always nice to be complimented for my patience and dedication. It has truly been an awesome experience to volunteer for an organization that works so hard to improve the quality of life for individuals on the spectrum and to give back to the group that helped me get to where I am today.
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.