Congratulations to Zach Schmidt as he was presented the “Speak out” award from Autism Speaks during the 2011 SC strawberry Festival pageant. Zach lives life on the autism spectrum- which often creates extra challenges among his peers -affecting his social interaction and the ability to make friends. Rather than taking a passive approach, Zack took his unique circumstances and developed a way to teach others what it “feels” like to have an autism spectrum diagnosis. His interactive presentation was presented at school, for the 2011 SCSF pageant contestants and the Boy scouts where he has earned the prestigious honor of Eagle Scout. Zach is truly a “home town hero”…. Actually…. He is!!! His sister, Emily, along with myself and Nikita Maigur continue to find strength in those, like Zach and his entire family who are passionately raising awareness for Autism.