2015 RiSE Awards Autism Award Winner and Honorable Mentions
RiSE Awards Autism Winner and Honorable Mention Award Winners
The RiSE Awards Autism Winner will receive $2500.00 paid directly to the college they choose in the fall 2015. The Honorable Mention Award Winners will receive $500.00 paid directly to the college they choose in the fall 2015.
Canon City High School
Canon City, Colorado
When researching financial aid for college, Claire came across the website for RiSE and the RiSE Awards Autism scholarship. She realized this award “fit her” and completed the application. This is interesting, as she was only adjusting and getting comfortable with her newly discovered diagnosis and how the diagnosis was impacting her.
Claire had always felt suspicious she may be on the Autism Spectrum. She was aware of her differences. She struggled socially, had sensory sensitivity, mild OCD and other learning issues. At age 17, she was curious enough that she sought an official evaluation. Her curiosity proved to be correct and she was given an official diagnosis.
She feels this gave her an “autistic license” and she could be “detached and awkward and no one would care” and the level of patience from others greatly increased. She feels fortunate that this is the case with her, but continues to wonder why, as she is the same person all along. She feels no one deserves to be demeaned for his or her personal struggles. This empathy for others drives her to help others with similar struggles.
This compassionate spirit is evident in Claire’s curiosity and in her choices of activities and academics. Claire has “the embodiment of the well rounded, cultured adult, although she has accomplished this as a youth”, says the Mr. Hartman the Coordinator of the Gifted and Talented Program at her high school. She is an active volunteer, excels in piano and is a member of the jazz band. Claire instructs watercolor, competes in art contests, and excels in Honors classes all while holding a 4.3 cumulative GPA (weighted).
As Mr. Hartman describes Claire, “ she does not look for barriers. She looks for opportunities”. She is thoughtful, interested and thinks “on huge levels”. Her wisdom and sincerity have impressed her family, teachers, her community and now all of us at RiSE. She is looking ahead to college in attending University of Colorado at Boulder in the fall of 2015.
Click here for Claire’s beautiful poem to her grandfather.
Honorable Mention Awards for RiSE Awards Autism
- Jake Evans
- Annie Kate Leinius
- Ava Rigelaupt
- Reggie Swindon