2014 RiSE Awards Autism Award Winner
Franklin Regional School
John has always been comfortable in his skin; although having a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder made him see life differently than his peers. He recalls when he was “the kid with a few friends that used to hold his hands over his ears to avoid the buzzer” and today he is graduating high school as a 3 sport letterman! He loves to play lacrosse, football and was a starter on his high school wrestling team that won the state AAA wrestling championship.
Over the years his parents, supportive educators and coaches have encouraged him and participated in his success. At this point in his life, those teammates and supporters can sit back and watch with pride at the strides John has made through his bravery and accomplishments. According to his school counselor, Mr. Earl, John has taken extremely challenging course loads that include AP and honors classes along with being a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council and volunteering at the local food bank.
When he was younger John’s parents were proactive in trying Occupational Therapy, Equine Therapy, and Therapeutic Listening Programs that John feels helped him overcome his sensory issues and excel at sports. The principal of John’s school, Mr. Suvak writes, “I have watched him grow from a child whose behaviors were easily identifiable as (ASD) to a young man who not only currently succeeds -but excels-socially, athletically and academically”. Mr. Suvak and the school will miss John, but know he will be a success at college and “beyond”.
2014 RiSE Awards Autism Honorable Mention Award Winners
These 2 students will receive $500.00 payable to the College they choose to attend in the Fall of 2014
1. Cullen Galbraith Salado High School Salado, TX
2. Jabriel Williams Arts Academy @ Benjamin Rush Philadelphia, PA