First Place Essay
By: Kyle W. from Massachusetts
New England Disability Awareness Essay
My friend Matt has Autism. These are some things that are hard for him: making friends, science, art, and physical activity. It's hard sometimes to be his friend because he interrupts people. Physical activity is hard for Matt because he doesn't always behave or follow directions.
When you get to know Matt he can be really nice and kind to you. Matt is just like a normal kid and always goofy and funny. He really likes me because I'm goofy too. Matt is a good friend of mine.
Matt is good at so many things too. Matt is great at the piano and math. Matt is really smart and talented. He is the best at math in the class. When I've heard Matt play the piano, he concentrates a lot and makes beautiful music. I could never do that.
Matt has to go with special teachers and work even harder than I do. Matt has to get taken out of classes to go to other classes and learn additional subjects. This year he even had to move schools for his special work. That must have been really hard for him because he misses his friends.
Matt inspires me because his life can be unfair sometimes, but he keeps trying and never gives up. He teaches me to always try and never say I can't do it. Matt is my friend and I'm proud of him that he keeps going forward. I miss him a lot.
Kyle donated his winning prize money to Autism Speaks
Second Place Essay
By: Mathew G. from Maine
My Brother Joseph
I went to a preschool full of kids with disabilities, but the one who's inspired me the most is my brother, Joseph. Joseph has autism. It’s kind of like he has a hole in his brain. That hole leaves space for awesome stuff and that hole somehow needed to be filled in so Mama talked and taught Joseph. I am his brother so we were together, that meant I learned too, not just from Mama speaking, but Joseph's special interests taught me too. Joseph is brilliant at building robots and science experiments. He picks awesome projects and always finishes them. That’s why Joseph has inspired me because now I know how to act in the future, because I learned how special kids with disabilities are and I learned about his special interests.
P.S. If I get the money prize I would give it to Sailmaine, a place where me and Joseph sail, they are really nice to him there, he loves, loves, loves to Sail at Sailmaine.
Third Place Essay
By: Nikita B. from Massachusetts
My Friend, Mr. V.
Someone with a disability who inspires me is Mr. V. Mr. V. always puts a smile on my face. The reason I like Mr. V. is that whenever Mr. V. is in our classroom, he inspires me by reading with his fingers! It's like his hands are taking the place of his eyes. You see, Mr. V. is blind, he has been since birth. He volunteers his time in our classroom every other Friday. Mr. V. always shares stories with us. He also asks us math problems in subtraction, addition, and multiplication. I don't always get every math problem right but I sometimes do! The story I liked the best was “Why Do Fly's Buzz in People's Ears?" I love how he takes time off to come and read us stories! I really look forward to the Friday's when he comes to teach us.