Class Act: Tewksbury students raise awareness for autism


It’s not every day you meet a group of 7th graders who run their own charity, but these friends from Tewksbury have been raising awareness for autism for 2 years.

They’re called “Angels for Autism.”

“We’re all just a group of friends and we wanted to do something, to start a charity,” said Anisha Lacerda.

“And then we decided, our best friend has autism, why don’t we make it about her?” added Lily Gigante.

Ashley Breen is that friend, and she’s proud to be part of the group.

“We hang out together,” Breen said, “we, like, go to the movies, and have sleepovers.”

Not only do they break down social barriers, they also raise money. Through booths at Walmart, selling t-shirts, and walks, the girls have raised more than $10,000 over 3 years.

“I didn’t know we were going to get that much,” said Christine Conti. “It’s exciting.”

“I was very surprise,” added Whitney Gigante. “I thought we’d get a couple thousand dollars each year, not even. But we have $10,000 in 3 years. That’s very surprising.”

Because of everything they do, the “Angels for Autism” are this week’s Class Acts.

Katie remembers the day she met Ashley in 1st grade.

“I originally met her when she was getting picked on at a playground for jump-roping. But I stood up for her, and we became friends,” said Katie Karlberg.

The friends say it’s a friendship that will last, and their group continues to grow.

The group plans to keep going for years to come.

“We never thought it would get this far,” Lacerda said. “We thought we were starting it for fun. And yeah, it’s been great.”


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