Kevin Arce - My life is but one part of the story of the world. . .
I was born in Puerto Rico, yet I have very few memories of the time, but I do know that Puerto Rico is where my story started. My journey to a successful and prosperous life however found its direction in America.
I always dreamed of being successful, yet I never knew what I would do with my life. Before I made it to adulthood I had to endure Middle School and High School. Middle School was where my true trials would begin. I was always bullied, constantly made fun of and threatened. It was traumatic to endure and there was a point where I questioned my existence. I thought I would amount to nothing, but then I moved to New Britain and was finally at peace. I found people who accepted me for who I am. There would still be many trials and tribulations, but I would triumph over them with the help of friends and family.
The way I achieved my career as a Self-Advocate Coordinator with Department of Developmental Services is by using my skill and being persistent. A Self-Advocate Coordinator helps spread the word and concept of self- advocacy. Self-advocacy is the practice of speaking up, and speaking out against topics that are unjust, or that violate your rights as a human being. I worked hard to not just self-advocate, but to help and defend other peoplesí rights. Most of all I never gave up on myself. There were times when I would lose hope and times when I almost gave up. Yet I didnít give up and with the help of my loved ones, I succeeded in achieving this job. If I, someone with autism, can become a self-advocate for others, then who canít make it?
The most important thing that I have learned in my life is that we must take our lives, our destinies, in our own hands. For example, sand cannot keep a shape by itself, but if one adds water, he or she can build something out of the sand. Our lives can be like that if we add at least one thing that we are missing in our lives. For example, I did not find the job of a Self-Advocate Coordinator on my own, I needed help from my parents and friends, not just to find this position, but also to prepare for it. That is how I became a Self-Advocate Coordinator, by building my life, with some support and always moving ahead.