Making a difference
When I was 11 years old, my cousin Christy was diagnosed with autism. My whole family had known something wasn’t right. At the time, she was almost 2 years old and didn’t respond to her name. She still talked like a baby, wouldn’t look people in the eye, and ate only certain foods.
From that day on, I read everything I could to know more about autism. I tried to find ways to enrich her life, or the lives of kids like her. My mom told me about a camp for kids with special needs that I could volunteer at called Camp Buckaroo, through the charity Easter Seals, and signed me up for it. The camp was so much fun. That was the summer going into seventh grade. Ever since then I have fallen in love with Easter Seals, and I wanted to do more.
I came up with the idea to make jewelry and have the profits go to Easter Seals of Greater Houston. A lot of the girls in my grade had started selling jewelry, so I wanted to do so too. I made an Instagram account called @beadsforspecialneeds and sold my jewelry through there. Since then, I have made over $1,000 and have “adopted” a family through Easter Seals. I bought them clothes and toys for Christmas.
Now my cousin Christy is almost 6 years old; she sometimes uses her iPad to communicate, she makes more sounds than she used to and makes a lot more eye contact. We have a very strong bond.
Through everything that I have been involved with over the past few years, it has become clear to me that I want to help others. I want to be part of the lives of kids with special needs and make a difference in this world.
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