This guest post is by Cedric Woirhaye a young man on the autism spectrum who was accepted into California State University. Cedric is applying for the Spring 2018 Making a Difference Autism Scholarship. 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 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!).

My name is Cedric Woirhaye. I would like to help improve our planet’s environment and prevent us from succumbing to the hazards of climate change.

As I have dealt with autism throughout my life, I started by living with delayed speech development in such a way that my parents taught me some sign language because they thought that I may not be able to talk. Fortunately, I was able to learn to communicate verbally after years of speech therapy. Also there were times where I had poor social skills where I have had problems invading people’s personal space and by asking for personal information. With many therapy programs, I improved my social skills so that I can better adapt to life as it is. On the good side, my autism also gives me a great ability to focus, which allows me to get good grades in many subjects and it also helps me observe detail. Despite having the aforementioned challenges, I have been able to succeed in my academic and social environment by being able to get good grades and interact with people in a way that allows for prosperous friendships.

As a person with speech delays, I had a hard time communicating with other people. As a result, my parents put me in speech therapy programs from 2003 to 2012. The reason I was put into such programs was because when I was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, my parents wanted to help improve my communications skills. After years of being involved in speech therapy programs, I am now able to speak more effectively.

I also had lived a life with poor social skills. I started to realize that I had poor social skills when I did not engage with friends and made friends uncomfortable when trying to interact with them. In 2013 and 2014, I got involved in some social skills training courses that helped me become a better socializer, which allowed me to make more prosperous friendships that would live on for years to come.

Living with autism made me able to excel in many academic areas such as math, science, history, music and so forth. When I attended Don Bosco Technical Institute, I got good grades in these four academic subjects and got interested in taking AP Physics C: Mechanics and AP Calculus AB. I decided to take those AP courses because I wanted to challenge myself in those areas that I was good at and earn myself some college credit.

In general, my life with autism has been pretty good because I have mostly been able to function in society like most people do. I have lived my life with speech delays, poor social skills, and advanced knowledge in many academic areas. As of now, I can easily communicate effectively and make friendships that can last for many years. In the future, I have been considering a career choice in renewable energy engineering because I feel that humanity would disappear from the face of the Earth if we did not find renewable energy sources that could replace fossil fuels as they heat up the planet by emitting heat-trapping carbon dioxide. Overall, I have lived a good life with autism and will continue to improve as needed. I encourage people with autism to live life to its fullest and use their strengths because autism should not stop them from achieving their goals.

-Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.- (2)

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.

We’d also appreciate if you could start a Facebook Fundraiser to support our nonprofit’s scholarship fund! You can learn more about how you can do just that here