College student overcomes autism and receives $1 million in scholarships – FOX13 News Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Being informed about scholarships is something that would make any parent or student proud. A Memphis family is celebrating because their daughter overcame obstacles, winning $1 million in scholarships, and this incredible student achieved those accomplishments despite the challenges of autism.
“I’m just proud of her. This is my little baby,” said Kristy White, proud mom to 17-year-old Ashlynn White.
The 17-year-old is a dual-enrolled homeschooler at Southwest Tennessee Community College. She is still amazed and delighted with the feat.
“Once you sit down and really add it up, it’s like, wow I did this! It’s kind of crazy,” Ashlynn said.
However, life has not always been so happy and joyful for the family. In 2018, Ashlynn was diagnosed with autism. She told FOX13 that she noticed early on that she was having major difficulties in class.
“I couldn’t take tests, I would freak out and freak out about testing at large establishments; I felt like people were looking at me,” Ashlynn said.
Autism usually comes with ticks, but Kristy said she noticed Ashlynn had a unique symptom.
“She cries when she is happy. She cries when she is sad. She cries for no reason. So I couldn’t figure that out,” Kristy said.
The mother-daughter duo said trying to cope with the disease also brought up extreme fears.
“I didn’t want her to be looked at as the angry black kid,” Kristy said. “She was always in all the honors programs. She got straight A’s and she was always on the honor roll. So I didn’t want his reputation to be tarnished.
The family also said they were uncertain at one point what the future would hold.
“I was just afraid of not being up to it. I would say I will be a second hand to everything; people know I’m good, they know I have the ability, but they would never choose me because I have a disability,” Ashlynn said.
Now, $1 million in scholarships later, Ashlynn has offers from 16 schools. She plans to attend the University of Memphis for biology and intends to pursue a career in pediatrics.
Ashlynn said she also wants to advocate for people who may not know they have autism.
“Autism just tells you how you are, it doesn’t define who you are. So I can do anything I want to do as long as I have the will and the desire to do it and I can still be autistic and it will always be fine,” Ashlynn said.
Ashlynn has received scholarship offers from the following schools:
- Ursuline College $84,000
- Western Illinois $32,000
- Davis & Elkins College $48,000
- Univ. from Memphis $12,000
- Univ. of Kentucky $50,000
- Univ. from Xavier $50,000
- Hope Int’l Univ. $80,000
- Hollins Univ. $116,000
- Mary Baldwin University. $88,000
- Howard Payne University. $64,000
- Univ. from Texas $18,000
- Univ. of Tennessee ————
- Fisk University $60,000
- Xavier Ohio $100,000
- Whitworth $108,000
- Western Colorado $40,000
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