By Kerry Magro, professional speaker, best-selling author and self-advocate
“I wanted to help individuals who felt alone.”
When I first found out I had autism at 11 1/2, I often wished I had a role model to look up to who was on the autism spectrum. There were so many questions I had about the diagnosis and it would have been amazing to have someone to talk too who had been through a similar journey. I really knew no one who had autism at that time. I didn’t know of the Dr. Temple Grandin’s and Dr. Stephen Shore’s of the world. Now as an adult who has overcame many of his challenges and is now a full-time job as a professional speaker & author, I’m blessed with the opportunity to take on the role of a mentor for so many young people on the spectrum and others with special needs. Living in New Jersey, technology via Skype, and from phone calls for those who don’t prefer face-to-face interaction, has helped me provide mentoring services to individuals across the globe for almost the past decade.
Of my mentees was Jadyn. Jadyn’s mother Michelle reached out to me last year because Jadyn was starting her first year as a New York Jets Junior Flight Crew Cheerleader. Jadyn had been cheerleading for two years with a local special needs squad and now was getting the opportunity to perform in front of 80,000 people at MetLife Stadium as part of a halftime show for the NY Jets. As soon as she told me about her daughter’s story all I could think was that this girl was a complete inspiration.