2016 Old Town High School
$2500 Market Decisions Research Mainely Character Scholarship
When Connor was 3 years old, he was diagnosed with autism. His parents were told he would likely never talk. With the support of his parents, family, friends, teachers, medical specialists and therapists, Connor has proved them wrong. He graduated from Old Town High School as an honors student, captain of the track team, and an accomplished musician. He also became a passionate advocate for individuals with autism and other disabilities.
During his sophomore year, Connor shared his diagnosis with his classmates for the first time. Required to make a presentation to his health class on a disability, he chose autism. His courage met with an overwhelmingly positive response. He was asked to talk to other classes and the superintendent invited him to deliver the school district keynote on opening day for the next two years. Connor continued to share his message as a motivational speaker. One of his teachers said, “Connor hasn’t just changed the school. He’s changed the whole community.”
Connor continued giving back by started a foundation, The Courageous Steps Project (www.thecourageousstepsproject.org), to give back to all those who supported him. The foundation sponsored fundraising events, back-to-school supply drives, motivational speaking engagements, and community building projects. Funds were used to bring technology to Connor’s former preschool and for scholarships to help high school seniors to take their own courageous steps. Connor enrolled at Husson University to pursue a degree in business, planning to use his education to improve his foundation.