Graduate’s name: Carlos Alexander Garcia Cortes
Home city: Los Angeles
Name of school or program: Virgil Middle School
Year completed: Middle school
Why you’re honoring this graduate:
“Carlos was diagnosed with autism when he was 4 years old. After a meeting with the specialist, his mom could not imagine that he might not be able to do other things like children of his age.
“Children with autism have been victims of mock, misunderstanding and even bullying. And I must confess that even for me it was difficult to understand the life of a person with autism. But Carlos graduated from middle school, with other classmates.
“Maybe he cannot do many things as other kids his age, maybe people do not understand his conversation, or the ways that he demands what he wants.
“But this is the Carlos that I know: He kisses people, he plays with kids, even he argues with people as other children do. Carlos shows his feelings. He hugs and tells his mom, ‘I love you.'”
Honored by: Guadalupe Garcia