Russellville, Arkansas – Russellville students are celebrating their hard work paying off after being admitted to Arkansas Tech.
In the Russellville High School library, senior Dylan Freeman browses the shelves for his favorite section.
“It’s one thing to know about history, but I think it’s better to teach others about it,” Freeman said.
As he turns the pages of history, Freeman is writing the next chapter of his story.
It’s a special time for seniors. College acceptance letters start to arrive and decisions about the future are made.
“Just hearing that I am not part of the ATU family made me really happy,” Freeman said.
For Dylan, the word yes meant a little over four years of hard work, but overcoming a lifetime of challenges.
“I can’t pinpoint exactly when I started noticing it. It was probably around the age of 10,” Freeman said.
Freeman was diagnosed with autism when he was three years old and did not speak until he was about six years old.
The challenges he faced years later didn’t stop him from completing the story.
“I’ve been to school for years, overcame many challenges with autism, and know that many people have helped me, so I really appreciate that,” Freeman said.
Now at college, Freeman’s teachers want him to be a voice for others.
Paul Gray, a social studies teacher at Russellville High School, said, “With Dylan, he’s been on a journey. It’s something special.
“I think it shows that they can do whatever they want. If they have a goal, they can achieve it,” said Brittany Turner of Russellville’s Student Support Services. I was.
But Dylan wants to target a specific reader, his younger brother Gabe, who has special needs.
“I love him,” said Freeman. “I want him to see that his brother is a successful plan who follows his dreams and is not afraid to defend himself.
Dylan will be enrolling at ATU in the fall, studying to become a history teacher.