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  3. Autism Scholarship- 2015
  4.  | Anthony


My name is Anthony Villanueva and I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and epilepsy when I was 8 years old. I was adopted when I was born. My biological mother was going to leave me in the hospital after birth. Ms. Sylvia Villanueva, my adopted mother, knew my biological mother and she plead to leave me in her hands. I do not know my biological family history to understand my physical condition. I have grown to love the only mother I know and my two brothers, her biological sons. I do not remember the good times in my childhood but I do remember the terrifying years of my elementary school and then after.

Attending regular public school almost made me lose my mind. My peers did not like me and I went through being a punching bag to other students, thrown in the sandbox, blackmailed, broken glasses several times, etc. The bullying was so severe that at age 7, I wanted to take my life. To control the bullying issue the principal decided that instead of playing with other kids, I tutor the kindergartners in math. All through the years I ate lunch by myself because other students did not want to be around me.  Since then I have been seeing a psychologist and at ten I began seen a psychiatrist who put me on medicine for severe depression and a neurologist to help me with some of my problems. During my elementary school I was called a bad boy by everyone including my teachers.   When I started the fifth grade my mind was severely traumatized. My mother had to fight the school district to let me attend a special education school.  I left public school being told by the school counselor that I will never graduate from high school because I would attend special education and the students were dumb. I attended middle school in Hacienda Heights School District; there a teacher told me that I was “never going to graduate high school”.

Attending special education was not so great since I was not severely disabled mentally or physically for other students to understand my medical condition. I became very anti-social in school and at home not knowing how to behave properly nor having social skills to depend on like other people. Due to my Epilepsy, I have a hard time studying but I believe that with a higher education I can one day support myself and have a better quality of living that a normal poor person with my disabilities.

Afterwards I moved to the City of Duarte to finish middle school and high school. Though I wasn’t getting bullied I was still getting looks for being socially awkward.  However, I had great teachers and counselors who inspired me to carry on my education plans.  After graduating high school and receiving my diploma I attended Citrus Community College. At first I tried taking a fulltime schedule but was completely overwhelmed by the work. Since then I have only been taking part-time classes each semester. In 2011 I moved to Upland which is where I’m now residing. I am currently enrolled in Chaffey College and majoring in Criminal Justice. However, at first I was majoring in psychology which added up more units than I needed. I want to be a coroner investigator but due to my financial situation, I won’t be able to take the classes that will help me with my career such as Anatomy and Forensic Science. We don’t have any money to fund my schooling anymore since financial aid is cutting me off for exceeding 72 units. So with this money it would help me further my career and reach my dream of becoming a coroner investigator.  Attached is a video that details more information about my life up to the point that I graduated from High school.  Thank you for your time.

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