Total loan: $5,000


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Henrico, VA, United States / Education

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A loan helped acquire necessary materials such as sensory equipment, recreational activity supplies, staff salaries, rent and utilities.

Catherine's story

Ever since I was 12 years old I have known that I wanted to work with children who are different. Growing up as a child with a disability that at first glance isn’t always noticeable (mild Cerebral Palsy), I was always treated normally until people found out about my disability. A lot of adults would then treat me as though I was made of glass, or that I didn’t understand what was being asked of me, or that my disability was just too daunting for them. As I grew older I found my voice and the ability to stand up for myself and help people to understand. At the age of 18 I started working as a one on one for a child with Autism in a recreational setting. I then understood that not all kids have a voice or the ability to explain their differences to others. This drove me in my education and career choices to learn more, and help to impact the lives of children on the spectrum. In a way it has always been my life’s ambition to convey to others that a child is a child regardless of what their label may be. They still have dreams, hopes, and aspirations. They still just want to be a kid. So my work with Richmond Autism Integration Network has become just that, helping to shape the programs of an organization that allow kids with Autism be kids so that others may not even see or think about the label.