My name is William; I like to go by Willy. I graduated Hamilton High School June 2016. I never thought I would graduate from high school let alone be the first one in the family to go to college. My mom always told me don’t let your disability stop you from succeeding in life. Use my fixation and persevere. Take it and use it to my advantage by making it my goal in life to succeed in something I love to do.
I loved technology from the time I was a small child; I remember when I would take the backs off anything that had screws on it or a battery needed to be changed. I wanted to take it apart but the darned thing was I couldn’t figure how to put it back together again! Plus, my parents would get mad and hide the screwdrivers from me because I would lose the pieces.
I did some volunteer work experiences thru MPS: I did Hunger Task Force, which was my favorite one of them all. I helped at the MPS central office, St Francis hospital (wipe tables and fill sugar packets), and Alverno College stocking the coolers.
I did a couple DVR work experiences; one was with Walgreens stocking shelves and another was working in a cafeteria during lunch time. I also did that at Hamilton and did the trash there. I earned pizza weekly for it at Hamilton.
I have also worked the last 2 summers at Maple Grove Autism treatment center. I am a mentor for adults on the autism spectrum there as well as helping with IT, and I help the clients with their computers. I also have a younger sister who has autism and who I take on the city bus to the program with me during the summer as well. She is in her last year of high school but spending it at a Project Search internship at the airport. We will both be graduating in May 2019. She turns 21 on Dec 1. I just turned 24 on Sept 25th.
I never knew GAB existed until I started my pre-internship class and the first internship that came up was Generations Against Bullying! Wow! Bullying was bad when I was at Hamilton HS. My sister went there with me until the last year; it was getting so bad that my mom transitioned her to Reagan HS, so she had a safe, smaller school so that when I left Hamilton HS my mom didn’t have to worry so much. I was always my mom’s eyes and ears at school. Bullying even happens on the small yellow buses and my sister was targeted. So, I was always looking out for her and protecting her. Even my friends who had her in their classes would let me know when there were issues. Our mom has always been our best advocate and will always be! She is the rock of our family – she holds this family together. We would be lost without her.
I want to thank you, GAB, for giving me this opportunity to have this IT internship at your non-profit organization. I will do my best to do what is asked of me when I am there. I know I have a lot to learn and the best way to learn is to have hands-on learning on the job. Now that it’s coming up to my last semester of college, it’s time to put all the stuff I have learned to work. I also need this internship for my credit to graduate in May 2019.
I am glad to be a part of GAB because bullying has been an issue most of my and my younger sister’s lives. Just because we are different, people are too quick to judge rather than really get to know someone with autism or Asperger’s. I am not ashamed of my disability and my high-functioning Autism doesn’t define who I am! I may not always be social or tend to have social anxiety in different settings or bigger settings. We all have our quirks, don’t we? Is there really someone who can be considered normal? No, because normal is a setting on your washing machine, right? 😊
I still live at home with my mom, dad, younger sister, and our 4 golden retrievers: Jena is over 10 years old and we’re not sure how much longer she’ll be with us, Scooby Dew is 3, Daphne is almost 2 and my 8-month-old puppy, Scrappy Doo, is bigger than his mom and dad (Scooby Dew & Daphne). I did have him neutered by Maddacc. He has a lot of energy along with his mom! They are my alarm clocks; all my mom has to do is tell him: “Wake up Willy! Give him a wet Willy!” then I am up! I do take the city bus to get around unless my mom takes me to appointments or is going my way. So that sums up my bio for now!
Thanks for reading! And thanks again for the IT internship!