Everyone has their own hobbies, a particular interest they enjoy, and do during their free time. It can be anything from fishing and hiking, to painting or playing guitar. Grace Foster, a creative, basketball loving teen decided to dedicate the efforts of one of her hobbies towards a good cause. Starting high school is an experience that can be fun yet stressful due to the numerous changes brought about by this new chapter. She was meeting new people, she had tougher, more serious classes, as well as having to adapt to a new sense of independence. During her freshman year, Grace was struck with the news that she had an additional challenge to add to this list. Grace was diagnosed with autism.

The adjustment was difficult, but became easier for Grace when she joined FFA (Future Farmers of America), a club at her school. “I found a place where I can be myself,” she said. Having found a way to help her cope, Grace realized she wanted to help others facing similar challenges. She aspired to make a difference in raising autism awareness and began brainstorming ideas. This is where her hobby came into play. After making rainbow loom bracelets for a few years she decided last year that she would start selling them for a good cause. She began making them in the autism rainbow-like colors and selling them to friends and family for $2 dollars each.

Grace’s admirable efforts have raised over $100 dollars for the American Autism Association for Autism Awareness Month. This valuable contribution will go towards assisting families get the proper help they need to ensure their children can receive therapeutic recreational programs which will give them a chance to reach their full potential.

With one year of high school left, Grace hopes to continue making a difference through her senior project for which she plans to write a book about her life with autism. Today on Autistic Pride Day, she generously made autism rainbow colored loom bracelets for all of the members in her golf team. Although many of the members are younger than her, Grace believes she can help them feel proud about their autism at a young age – now that’s autistic pride!

We would love to offer a HUGE thanks to Grace for all her remarkable efforts and generous donations to the American Autism Association. You are an inspiration to us, and to many who stand witness as you strive to help others embrace their autism.

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