This guest post is by Colin Sheldrick, a young man on the autism spectrum who has been accepted into Farleigh Dickinson University and Ramapo University. Colin 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 faced many challenges during my lifetime. When I was little I was diagnosed with Asperger’s. It affected me for my entire life growing up. I used to get upset over a lot of things and I hated loud noises. When I was a kid not many kids liked me because I was different. Some kids thought that I was weird and I used to flap my hands when I would get excited about something.
During middle school I faced severe bullying issues. Kids would pick on me each day because of the way I was. I would tell teachers but they would not help me. So every day I would be depressed. 7th grade was by far one of the worst years of my life. Every single day kids would pick on me and even put their hands on me. 8th grade got better but some of the same kids still picked on me. When high school started things got way better for me. Freshman year was a bit of a rough start and I still did get bullied a little.
But it was not as severe as it was in middle school. But what I experienced during that period of time in my life had a profound impact on me. I was always taught to be kind to others but at the same time others weren’t being kind to me. Every day I went to school I did not know what to expect. I was afraid to go to school and I wouldn’t tell my mother because she was busy taking care of myself and my brother. This was a very tough period for me in my life.
Then, I got involved in sports. I was able to play my first year of rec basketball and got to know many people and made some good friends. During my sophomore year, the bullying pretty much stopped. A lot of the kids who used to pick on me became friendly with me and became my friends. I got great marks in my sophomore year and I made the honor roll.
Junior year was also a great year for me. I made the honor roll once again and proved myself to be a good student. Then COVID-19 came around and the whole country shut down. My school went all virtual and it was very hard for me to stay concentrated on school. But now I improved myself and that got me to where I am today. I am a very happy person and I love everything about myself. I also care very much about how I do in school and I am hoping to keep that momentum going forward.
Just remember to never give up and keep fighting for what you want to accomplish.
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.