Updated: Feb 26
I was twenty two years old when I received my first paycheck. I had graduated from college few months prior and was super excited to land a job in one of the biggest banks in Lebanon. The thrill I felt when I opened my personal account to see a positive balance was one of the very few memorable experiences of my early adulthood. Being a goal driven person, my first paycheck was the proof of my long lived dream of becoming an independent and financially capable citizen.
You can imagine my heartbreak when I grasped, time after time since we got the autism diagnosis for Michael, that he might not experience this joy. As I rushed last week to Oceanside to give Paige her first check for the soaps she has made for Blissful Seeds, it dawned on me that this young lady is only the first contractor whom I compensate for labor. And suddenly, I was filled with hope and confidence that Michael’s future will be perkier and sunnier.
Paige is eighteen years old, and deserves to be treated like any other young adult her age, and not be compensated with pennies for her efforts. Her autism will not overshadow her great abilities. Her and other young adults like her will be seen for what they are capable of; this is my mission in life and I will never stop until it becomes a reality.