AN EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY
HELO and Tri-County Schools, in collaboration with Bentley Motors, are launching a project that will truly help make an impact, raise awareness and spark conversation around neurodiversity.
John Elder Robison lived the first 40 years of his life with undiagnosed autism. Since his diagnosis, his life has been transformed and he has become a vocal autism advocate. His four books have become bestsellers and he’s emerged as one of the most visible autistic people in the US.
“One of the worst things about being an autistic kid was being called retarded, stupid, and defective. It took many years for me to outgrow that stigma and now I want to help young people escape it altogether tomorrow”.
Today autism is recognized as a neurological difference. ADHD and dyslexia are other examples of neurological differences, all of which are part and parcel of the human genome. While each can be disabling at the extremes they are all part of the neurological diversity our species needs to thrive and prosper. Autism and other neuro-divergent conditions are sometimes disabling, particularly in young people, but they can also confer extraordinary gifts.
The challenge for educators is teaching these different kids the mix of academic knowledge and practical life skills they need to succeed. Thanks to his own differences and gifts, John was able to establish a thriving independent fine automobile restoration shop in Springfield Massachusetts. Now he has moved beyond car repair into humanitarian service. He started a program that uses his craft skills and neurological insight to help high school students with developmental disabilities. John's program teaches life skills in the context of auto restoration in partnership with Northeast Center for Youth and Families/Tri-county Schools of Easthampton, MA. Their one-of-a-kind program is changing the lives of their students.
Today the donation of a vintage Bentley gives John and his students the opportunity of a lifetime - to transform this classic car into a race ready contender and run it in this year’s La Carrera Panamericana in Mexico - one of the most historic and demanding road races in the world.
Mexico or BUST!
This extraordinary endeavor will be documented and communicated to the world to show what these teenagers can achieve, to change perception around neurodiversity and to celebrate their uniqueness.
But John can’t do all of this alone.
So let’s help John to revamp the face of autism and neurodiversity and inspire others. Autism affects more than 1 in 68 people, and ADHD is even more widespread. Let’s help John show how neurodivergent people can move beyond disability to show their exceptionality and make a unique contribution to both the worlds of motorsports and education.
Your kind donations will fund the NCYF/Tri-County School, John’s automotive program, the building of this race car and the production of a feature documentary for international release.
Beyond money — we need your help spreading the word
At its heart, Mexico or Bust is a grassroots project driven by a team of amazing fellow humans who want to make a difference in how we see neurodiverse people. Whether you donate to our campaign or not, you can still help make history by spreading the word with friends and family on social media.
Recognizing your generosity. Thank you!
The work John and NYCF/Tri-County Schools do touches students’ lives in a meaningful way. Every dollar you give will touch one student, who will learn about your support. We thank you, and so do John and the students.
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