Dec 22, 2016 05:45 AM EST
Ben Smith, a student from Towson University, successfully graduated. What is extraordinary, is that he was able to overcome barriers, challenges and struggles that came with having autism.
Autism is estimated to have affected over 21 million people around the world. It impairs social interaction, and restricts certain verbal or non-verbal behaviors, oftentimes repetitive. But one student with diagnosed autism beat the odds.
When he was two years old, Ben Smith was diagnosed with autism. At an early age, he already knew he was growing up differently from his friends and school mates. Smith said he was very shy, as reported by Baltimore News. Growing up he recalls being uncooperative with some things that should not even be a big deal. That is how most autistic kids grow up.
Ben Smith graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Math with a minor in Computer Science. At first he attended Harford Community College but transferred to Towson to pursue a degree in Math. According to the Towson University website, the school offers support for students like Ben. He proved that he is able to get ahead even with autism. At Towson, he interned and he also joined an honor society for students with disabilities.
Putting his computer science degree to work, he managed the website for the honor society too. He did not fail at socializing either. He lived in a dorm and he tutored other students who needed help in math. And to test himself further, he took on difficult classes.
His main goal was to graduate. According to the assistant director of Resident Life, Lisa Simmons-Barth, Smith is a part of their community and easily connected with everyone. She added that Smith's challenges pushes him further to build the skills he needs for his future.
When asked what his plans are for his future, Ben Smith said he is planning on Operations Research or Statistics because he wants to work for the government and the company. He plans to get a job and a Masters degree, too.
Check out the related news video of Ben below!
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