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The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

Autism Awareness

Jackson Napier
Upper School Dean Kyle McGimsey waits to get dunked in support of autism awareness on April 19. The 9th grade dunk tank was one of many events contributing toward autism awareness.

   The Quad was bustling with excitement on April 5th when members of the Best Buddies organization came to Trinity Prep to shadow fellow students during Autism Awareness Week. This was just one of the many events that Trinity and the Best Buddies Organization hosted for autism awareness.

   Best Buddies is a worldwide nonprofit organization that seeks to build a volunteer movement that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and gives them access to integrated jobs, friendships, leadership training, inclusive housing and family support.

   It all started when junior Ella Eichenholz and sophomore Brinkley Harrold joined their local Best Buddles as a way to gain experience prior to starting their own organization at Trinity. Harrold decided to join Best Buddies after the organization hosted their first party at Trinity.

   “I joined Best Buddies last year after seeing how happy it made the kids to be a part of it and for them to have fun and friends,” Harrold said.

   After joining, Harrold aspired to seek this smile again, so she decided with Eichenholz to create a bake sale and a shadow day. But during the process of creating the special event, they ran into many big problems, one of which was scheduling.

   “There was a lot going on, few of which, were trying to figure out what a good time was, informing the teachers, and scheduling stuff with the 9th graders about the Water Dunk Tank,” Harrold said. 

   Despite these being huge obstacles, they were able to overcome them by communicating with current club administrator Sebastiaan Blickman and Best Buddies Advisor Robin Grenz. Their success in communicating also helped grab the attention of some students at Trinity.

   “I’ve seen my friends or people involved kind of want to become more involved with the process, like more involved with the club and be a part of it more,” Harrold said. 

   After the shadowing day concluded, Eichenholz and Harrold continued to display their efforts for the Best Buddies Organization by creating a bake sale on top of the special time they created for these kids. Along with the bake sale that was hosted, the 9th-grade student body decided to host their own fundraiser, which later merged as one. 

   9th-grade class president Jack Nave and a few other students decided to host a Dunk Tank event with a 3 dollar entry fee. The students who did pay the entry fee received the ability to vote for one of 18 faculty members before the event. But again, their team did run into some problems with the setup process.

   Their team initially ran into a problem where there was a lack of teachers participating. Both Nave and 9th-grade student council representative Ashwin Anand initially sent an email to faculty here, but only five teachers responded. 

   Another problem Anand and Nave ran into was that the school wanted to limit the amount of fundraising due to the sheer amount that happens each month, so they decided to combine theirs with Harrold’s bake sale.

   But after combining hands, they were able to raise a total of 1005 dollars in the span of two weeks of preparation and action. After combining all of the success that this donation has achieved, they sent the total amount to the Special Olympics, where the Best Buddies would later receive the money. 

   “I just hope people take away that a small act of kindness can make such a big difference and that these kids, even though they do have autism, they’re just regular people,” Harrold said.

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About the Contributor
Jackson Napier, Photographer
Jackson Napier is a junior entering his first year on staff as a photographer. Besides driving the coolest coupe on campus, he likes to play lacrosse and basketball. When he isn't dunking on kids, like Vince Carter, he is doing photography and flicking up his friends and family. Contact him at [email protected].

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