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Inspiring Graduation Stories about Individuals with Autism!

Graduation time is here and it's time to celebrate! Here are some stories of individuals with autism graduating that are inspiring our community...

High School Senior with Autism Graduates with 4.0 GPA; Class Valedictorian 

Montel Medley, a 17-year-old with autism, recently graduated from Surrattsville High School in Clinton, Maryland, with a 4.0 GPA and as his class valedictorian. During his valedictorian speech, Montel discussed some of the challenges he dealt with growing up, including being nonverbal until he was three years-old.

Read more on Montel here...

Class of 2014!

In this post, Autism Speaks Executive Vice President Lisa Goring shares the story of her son Andrew walking at his high school graduation!

Read more about Andrew here...

A Musician with Autism Hopes to Make his College Dream Come True

Ben Jenkins is a talented 18-year-old with autism who just graduated from the Denver School of the Arts! Ben is now raising funds in the hopes he can attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston this fall. Ben's family, who lost their home and went bankrupt paying for therapy and services for him, doesn't have the financial means to pay Berklee's tuition costs, which are over $60,000 a year.

Read more on Ben here...

Your Dollars @ Work: Exceptional Minds First Training Class Graduates!

A 2012 Family Services Community Grant from Autism Speaks of $25,000 helped Exceptional Minds fulfill their goal of proving to the world - the film industry in particular - that young adults with autism could perform highly skilled visual effects and animal work and earn a living. The grant funded their job development program and has allowed them to launch the careers of the first group of EM graduates!

Read more on Exceptional Minds here...

Non-verbal Teen with Autism Gives Inspiring Graduation Speech 

Dillan Marmache, a 14-year-old with autism, has dealt with many challenges growing up. Dillian is non-verbal and while attending Hale Charter Academy in Woodland Hills, LA, he felt like he could truly find his voice for the first time. With the help of his communication support aide Debbie Spengler and his iPad, which he uses to communicate, Dillan was able to graduate and to give his school's graduation address. During his speech, Dillan talks about his journey up to this point and what he expects in the future. After he was done speaking, he was given a standing ovation from the entire school.

Read more on Dillan here...

Check out our "Celebrating Graduates" Facebook Album here for more graduation photos!

Also make sure to check out our Brian & Patricia Kelly Postesecondary Scholarship Fund which selects eligible colleges, vocational/technical schools and transition programs in the United States to identify qualifed students or clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and offer scholarship funds for these individuals to attend! 

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.