This guest blog is by Andrew Salgado. Andrew recently came out with a song called “Look At You Now” which is currently available for purchase on Itunes. A portion of the proceeds will go to Autism Speaks Chicagoland Chapter.
My name is Andrew Salgado and I am a singer and songwriter. For the past five years, I have been involved with the Autism Speaks Organization and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The kids and families I have met have made me truly appreciate all that I have been given. It has also made me realize that if given the opportunity, people can do remarkable things.
As a kid in school, I was picked on and bullied and was told that I would not go to college because of my learning disability and for a while I believed that. Then I found music and my life changed dramatically. I began performing in clubs and at festivals and was introduced to Jim Peterik founder of the Ides of March and Survivor and co-writer of the Eye of the Tiger song. Working with Jim was a unique experience for me as it gave me the chance to broaden my writing abilities while working with a Grammy award winning songwriter.
I introduced Jim to the Autism Speaks folks and we performed at the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event in Chicago where we met the most amazing kids. Shortly after that I was inspired to write the song Look At You Now with Jim. My goal was to create a song with a message about seeing what kids with Autism can accomplish and how proud their families are of them. I wanted to make sure the song was simple yet powerful and that it would relate to both the kids and their families, as well as, everyone around them.
Every year since the first time I was introduced to Autism Speaks, I have met and been inspired by hundreds of kids with Autism and their families. Their strength and courage is amazing and the love they have shown me has been incredible. Like the song says they have truly "come down from heaven and opened my heart."
As someone who has had to overcome similar obstacles, I know how hard the journey can be, but over the years I have seen the possibilities and each time I have the chance to be with the kids and their families I am prompted to say, just look at you now. Thank you for inspiring me, for teaching me and for showing me that with dedication and commitment with God's grace we will all make it somehow. Keep standing tall.