Acceptance, Not Tolererance

Scholarship Entrant: Loukisha from Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Loukisha: 12

I am a forty-year-old single mother of two children. I have a seven-year-old daughter and a nine-year-old son. My son was diagnosed with autism on his third birthday. Due to his elopement issues, the day cares refused service stating that he is a liability. He is non-verbal which means I must be extremely careful with my choice of child care as he is a perfect target for predators. I did not have the proper support system I needed with family or friends, so I had to resign from my job to provide full-time care. If I could earn a living doing what I love most, I would open a day care that specialized in the care of children with autism.
We live in a small town where services are at a bare minimum. To make matters worse, some people in this town refuse to spread information that might be helpful to the community as a whole. My facility will be a place of information and knowledge. I will provide guest speakers, pamphlets and post announcements for parents about everything pertaining to autism. We will promote acceptance by including typically developing children in helping our children with autism. This will foster greater social skills, as well as promote understanding, love and compassion among our children. I may not change the world as a whole, but I will change my community’s world.

Vote for Loukisha: 12

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