My name is Richie Jewell. I'm 20 years old and I have autism since I was born. I went through some of the stuff that has been a rocky roadblock during my life. It was very challenging to live through the times that I endured during my life such as teasing, on and off depression, struggling to adapt in places including schools, helplessly observe my parents’ divorce and the struggles with my disability like problems with speech and language, communication, awkwardness in social situations, screaming and crying when I was young out of frustration. Well despite all of those horrible obstacles that tried to cut me down, I would overcome them by using my own set of coping skills: Getting through one day at a time, knowing that happiness and smiles triumphs. When I had no friends due to the disability, I pretended that my stuffed animals as if they were my own and practiced it for later on. Whenever I'm in a negative situation, I dream myself a happy place with beautiful nature and happiness all around me. I also remind myself that everything happens for a reason in life. I always ask myself, “Why do we fall? So, we can learn to pick ourselves up”, and most of all, writing poems from my heart with the help and comfort from family, friends, my hobbies, which include animals, wrestling, movies, writing, and inspiration. Those things I just mentioned are the huge puzzle pieces of my life. So you're curious on what I do for a living, right? Currently, I work at a local library in Beacon, NY to get some money. Outside the job, I'm a writer, motivational speaker and world/autism advocate to reach out people and raise their spirits. I'm writing a book now titled This is Me: Life with Autism which talks about my struggles and triumphs with the disability throughout my life. I do speeches at public places such as schools and libraries to raise awareness of autism, world problems, the struggles with my disability and most of all inspire people to feel good about themselves. Why did I choose this profession? I'm doing this for the people, who have been laughed at, ridiculed, looked at the wrong way, have been told you can't do anything and won't go far in life or bullied including myself. We’ll show them that we are in this together to help the world by raising awareness on not just autism but the world problems as well. I want to show support to people who are in a struggle like I was. I want to be the symbol that anything is possible. I'm just an average person trying to make a big change in the world's society so we can live in a healthy, peaceful and beautiful environment that makes us adaptable for our home called Earth. This who I am and always will be: I am Richie Jewell.
Submitted by Anonymous
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