This guest post is by Micah A. Abram, a young man on the autism spectrum who was accepted into University of Tennessee – Chattanooga. Micah 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 name is Micah A. Abram, I will be 18 years old on May 18, 2021. I have attended Covington Academy (CA-private school) from 1st to 7th grade, Cousins Middle School (CMS) for the 8th, and will be graduating Eastside High School (EHS) this June. I am excited to have been accepted to the University of Tennessee- Chattanooga’s Mosaic program for ASD students.
As an ASD student I worked extremely hard to complete all the stages of my education along with the assistance of many amazing teachers who encouraged me to do my best and never give up. One of the main problems I have had to overcome is my shyness and speaking in front of people.
In the 5th grade, because of my disability and difficulty communicating I was the target of the bully in my class. Looking back, I see his goal was to isolate me from everyone else to make me feel the way he felt, lonely. My mother discovered what was happening and brought it to the school’s attention right away. Together, we organized the schools No Tolerance policy to address to the students, parents and faculty. Their efforts made me feel like I mattered, and that my voice was heard.
CA a smaller environment that helped me to overcome those fears. CMS was my first experience in public school, which gave me the opportunity to grow and prepare for High School. My 8th grade year helped me realize that I could handle a larger world. While at EHS, I developed my voice and learned to cope with my sensitivities so that I would not be so distracted from obtaining my goals.
I tried various sports; swimming, baseball, soccer and basketball. I wasn’t great at any one. What was learned from these endeavors though was finishing what I started and striving to never let my teammates down was my success.
The people in my life have been my greatest support. My mom who is a small business owner of more than 15 years, my younger sister who will defend me to anyone, and grandparents who moved from NY to be with us after my parents divorced when I was 4 years old.
For years, I watched my mother enjoy the benefits of creating a business from her passion. My sister and I worked with her several evenings, weekends and summers learning the hard work and struggle of being an entrepreneur. Working in her office, doing paperwork, customer service and most of the time manual labor gave me the experience and respect of all the aspects of being self-employed.
Working with my mother over many summers, we helped her attending several conferences all over the country. It was hard work, but my mother helped to instill a work ethic of work first and hard to play second and even harder. With every conference, we enjoyed a vacation afterward. Going to wonderful hotels, and restaurants seeing historic landmarks in cities opened our eyes to the variety of life our country offers. My mother always tells us, when your business is your passion you’ll never work a day in your life.
I believe travel is essential for all people to experience a different way of life. To see how others live even within our own country can help one to become empathetic to other lifestyles.
These adventures grew in me a fondness of traveling and adventuring to new places, hotels, restaurants and the hospitality industry. I believe a degree in Business/Hospitality/Global Tourism will help me develop my passion into a business that will enable people of all economic status afford vacation experiences for their families to enjoy with one another. My single mother found a way to do it for our family and I would love the opportunity to help other families like mine to do the same.
Many ASD youth sometimes struggle to find their voice; mentally and physically. This can make them an easy target for bullies and in turn make them feel less valued and even unloved. With the support of people stopping cruelties and injustices or supporting someone who feels alone, won’t just make a person’s day it could save a life.
My goal is to create a mentoring organization for ASD youths through transitioning adults to build life-skills training, support counseling and social interactive peer groups to aid self-confidence, reliance, and self-love.
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.