11-year-old Arizona State University Bound
Jimi "Monty" Hernandez is an 11 year old that is not only gifted, but he overcomes disability every day to pursue his dreams of being a neurologist and opening a nonprofit practice to help others. Monty is currently a senior at Skyline High School in Mesa, Arizona and has been accepted to Arizona State University as a biochemistry premed major. He maintains a 4.0 GPA while volunteering at a local animal shelter and horse rescue. His love for animals is far larger than any medical condition that can keep him down. Monty was previously diagnosed with ADHD and high functioning autism and was found to have an ascending aortic aneurism that he is currently undergoing testing for before correction can take place. After years of having difficulty with strength, agility, gross and fine motor skills, he was finally fully assessed and is now diagnosed with a connective tissue syndrome. He will eventually undergo open heart surgery to have a prosthetic aorta placed so that he may continue to seek higher education. His next appointment is at Cedar Sinai Hospital for genetic testing to check for any other mutations that may affect his health. Monty does have physical restrictions that no child should have. There are no roller coasters or contact sports allowed for him. No lifting weights or competitions as he must keep his blood pressure low. His joint hurts and he get winded walking long distances. He is currently in karate at East Mesa Karate and works hard in physical therapy. He enjoys being the manager of the Light Saber Club at school. We are seeking help with his education to cover tuition, books, assistive technology, and supplies he will need to be successful in his undergrad and graduate courses as well as help with medical expenses and medications. As a mother of a twice exceptional son with a life threatening heart condition, I am on-call for him 24/7. I provide all transportation and must stay with him due to health condition, manage his IEP and chronic illness forms at his school (bi-weekly meetings right now), attend all medical appoints near and far, pay for all medical expenses and medications outside what our health insurance covers, balance his activities, education, and his meals and food choices, and try to make he and his sister's childhood as normal as possible. We have recently found out that we do not qualify for FAFSA Pell Grant and have been turned down for many scholarships we have applied for. Many due to his age, some due to, "Not being as exceptional as others that applied." I just want him to be able to go to school next year and be happy. Any help his appreciated.
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