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When I give talks around the country as a professional speaker who is on the autism spectrum, a quote I often share with my audiences is that “Autism can’t define me. I define autism.” This is the end quote I share in a poem I wrote about once being nonverbal to today find full-time employment as a speaker and author.

When I heard of Hallie Hovey-Murray’s story this was a quote that instantly came to mind.

Her adolescence unfortunately had some rough patches. When she was hospitalized at 10 many people were uncertain what her future may have in store. In fact she was once told she’d be lucky to graduate from high school at 21.

Now at 23, Hallie will soon be a law school graduate from the College of William & Mary and will be competing in Miss Virginia in June of 2019 in the hopes of one day becoming Miss America!

A friend of mine in Alexis Wineman also competed in the Miss America pageant sometime back as Miss Montana. She was the first woman with autism to ever compete in the Miss America Pageant.

One of our autism college scholarship winners via our nonprofit KFM Making A Difference in Rachel Barcellona has also been competing and succeeding in pageants for many years now.

I wish you nothing but the best in the future Hallie! Keep striving for greatness and not letting anything define who you are.

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. 

Have 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!