Erin

My name is Erin, and I am an eighteen year old senior at Seward High School located in Seward, Alaska. I’m graduating this May. I’ve lived in Seward for eighteen years. After I graduate high school, I plan on going to Avtec to study Administrative Assistant Program and then Culinary Arts. After Avtec, I want to further my education by going to the University of Alaska Anchorage to study the Fine Arts. I have chosen this path because I have always had the passion for the arts. The reason why I want to become a chef is because my father inspired me and I love seeing the smiling faces from people who taste my food. I want to become an artist as well because I have always loved doing art since I was little and it’s a part of me. In the future, I want to open a business that involves baked goods and displays artwork.
I was born in Anchorage, Alaska on November 12th, 1996, and have lived in Seward, Alaska for eighteen years. My mom, Stacey, and I lived with my grandparents for four years, and eventually my mom met my dad, Kevin Lane. In the year 2000, I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum. Then my brother, Braden was born on June 14th, 2002, and my parents were married soon after. The four of us lived in a cozy little home on 6th Ave. Then years later, when I was 14, I was adopted by Kevin Lane that summer, and he officially became my dad. My family have been celebrating that event (Lane Day) every year on July 3rd, and we still hold that tradition today. When I was young, I played soccer and took dance classes. Every year, I take trips with my family and do fun activities. At the age of seventeen, I had my first paying summer job at the Seward Chamber of Commerce. Throughout high school, I’ve been involved in the arts (Art classes, Choir, Art group, and Drama). I am also involved in National Honors Society. I have volunteered at the Seward Public Library, Seward Mural Society, and within National Honors Society activities. I am even academically successful, a hard worker, and creative. I’ve been doing art since I was little and it became a big part of my life ever since.
When I was diagnosed with Autism at age four, I may not remember the details, but I’m pretty sure elementary school was hard before I found out myself. I was a little more curious than the other kids, and I was able to make a few friends at the time. As the years in elementary school went by, I was liked among the teachers, but I remember the difficulties in class at the time. I had a hard time paying attention in class, and I used to have a lot of trouble with math and other classes. I manage to get help with school work by getting help from my mom at home and talking to the teachers at school. During Elementary School, one class I had to take was Speech, and after a while, I was able to talk with anyone trying to understand what I was trying to say. Then at middle school, I manage to succeed in most classes with a DSP (Direct Service Provider), but the biggest problem I have to face with Autism is how I control my emotions. One year, there were a few kids that I know and they were just fooling around, but in my mind, I felt like they were bullying me when they were driving me through the roof. Only one time, when the kids were being goofy, I yelled in the hallway and I went to the office for it. I made friends with teachers at middle school by asking some help for school work for a better understanding. When it came to lockers, I always have trouble remembering the combination for my locker, but with time and patience, I learned how to open a locker very well when it comes to the combination. At high school, I started to branch out to different classes, but along the way there were always “school work” and “emotional” difficulties. I had a DSP throughout high
school, as well. I have been also working on understanding certain behaviors that I contain. Even though autism can affect one’s life skills, those were the important skills I’m still learning. At both middle and high school, I was kind of a loner during lunch, but sometimes kids would sit next to me at my table. I had to admit, with autism, there are always the easy way and the hard way. While having autism, there is a good side to it. I was able to pass classes and make so many new friends, even though some people call them my acquaintances. Even when autism can also affect the emotional state of a person, I can still go to people who care about me for comfort and support.
I deserve to win this scholarship because once I go to college or trade school, I just want to fit in with the other students. Even with autism, I always feel too different from everyone else. I’m also a hard worker, and I always do my best, as well, as I can do it with disabilities.
Erin Lane

Erin