I was born at 27 weeks (13 weeks early) with grade III/IV bleeds in my brain. My parents were told that I would never read, write, walk, or talk. I have obviously proved all of the doctors wrong as I can do all of those things! Along with that, I am on the autism spectrum and was diagnosed with NVLD when I was in middle school.
Growing up and even now, I have had a hard time fitting in. I have always known that I am different, but sometimes I have a difficult time with it.
I am now an undergraduate student in my senior year at the University of Northern Colorado (UNCO) in Greeley, Colorado where I am currently working on getting my degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Sociology. I previously attended Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado, receiving my Associate of Arts degree in General Studies. I am working toward becoming an advocate for people like myself who want to feel heard and have someone they can relate or connect to!
I am involved in a few things at UNCO! I am on my college’s student senate as a senator for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and I work as a peer mentor for the Go on and Learn program, which assists students with certain disabilities in going to college and receiving the college experience. The students in this program earn a certificate after four years at UNCO and typically get a job right after their time at UNCO. I enjoy my job as I peer mentor because I can connect with my student more as I understand some of the struggles they are going through, and I know how to help them through all of it. The students I work with are not just people I mentor, they are my friends and that is what I really love about my job!
As for my free time, I love to swim when I can, hang out with my friends, be outside, go to the mountains (especially being a Colorado native), and write. I recently started my own blog called My Life on the Spectrum. It talks about what it is like to be a person with NVLD and on the autism spectrum and what challenges and good things I have had happen, provides a spot others to relate or connect to someone, and it has some fun posts too! I talk about my struggles in coping with my disability and how I overcome them. I also talk about fun topics like self-care. My blog is fairly new so not much is on it yet.
I have been through a lot in my 22 years of life, but I try to never let it define me, and I use it to help myself and others by advocating! I want to help others in my position do the same!
I am a senior at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado, but am originally from Centennial, Colorado. I love to swim, hang with my friends, be outside, and go to the mountains (when possible). I have my own blog as well! Here is the link to it for reading acollegegirlonthespectrum.blog