This guest post is by Hugo Azpurua, a young man on the autism spectrum who was accepted into The Aviation Institute of Maintenance where he hopes to one day be an Aircraft Pilot. Hugo 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!).

Hi, my name is Hugo Azpurua and I’m 20 years old.

I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when I was 4 years old.

Mainstream schooling was not nice to me. I ended up being Homeschooled after more than 5-6 attempts of attending “normal” Middle and High School, including “in class therapist”, which didn’t work either. So to pursue going to College and getting a Career I got my GED this year.

As an “Aspie” dealing with school challenges and frustrations, I looked for other fields to learn my way around the “normal schooling”, including successful Theater studies and performances, Adobe Photoshop Illustration and Image Software amongst other extracurricular activities. This is My Adobe Photoshop Illustrator Portfolio:

Even though this has brought me many frustrations in life I have never and will never stop pursuing studying and getting a career and working. I have a high work ethic and will continue that while I attend school.

Having studied Adobe Photoshop Illustration permitted me to get a Job at BCT Houston, a Digital Printing Company and I became head of the Digital Printing Department within 2 months under no supervision for 1 and ½ years. This showed me that even though my High School Education was not the conventional one, I can still study and work and be good and even the best on what I do. I could handle all the software and hardware this position needed and successfully exceled in my job.

I want to become an Aircraft Pilot, but I’m being monitored by the FFA to see if my diagnosis and all I’ve been through permits me to become one, this procedure will take approximately 2 years and a lot of resources. In the meantime I have decided to study Aircraft Maintenance, which is a certificate called AMP, it’s a 22 month Program that I enrolled in at Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Houston, TX where I have lived and worked the past 2 1/5 years.

I am motivated because for once the enrolling into this School has been inviting and as any “normal” student I feel I belong although I know I still have obstacles to overcome. This is the result of maturing and going through challenges and the struggles any Aspie goes through but with time pay off.

I am going to work part-time to be able to study and pay my tuition and other obligations but the challenges this field brings, the focus and hours of study will cost more than I or my mother can afford.

I am beginning the 22-month Program this next January 2019 and I am literally counting the days.

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.