This is a guest post by Christina-Marie Drake. Christina is a 20-year-old student at Defiance College, where she is President of the Delta Pi Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta, a cheerleader, editor-in-chief of the newspaper, a Citizen Leader, a pageant winner, and a Mixed Media Studies major. She is an Autism Speaks U Student Leader and helps to spread awareness and raise funds for those affected by autism.
As a San Diego, Calif. native, I started getting involved in the local music scene at age 14after spending five years in concert band where I learned to play over 13 instruments! While working in San Diego with local bands, I started putting on benefit concerts. The first was for breast cancer as part of my Teen Miss Lakeside 2006 pageant platform. The next concert I put on was for children’s diabetes, which raised $6,000. Most recently, my insanely crazy but fun schedule took on another task, a self-made project called “Rock For Autism.” I began working on my “Rock For Autism” (RFA) project using the contacts I have made in the 3 years I was involved. This new project, in addition to the benefit shows already put on, got me national recognition from Seventeen magazine, The Quill, and local papers around the states.
I moved to college where my sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, partnered with Autism Speaks around the same time. I was preparing to invest in the creation of my “Rock For Autism” project. After the sorority partnership, and my work at the YMCA and college with some students who have autism, I decided to contact Autism Speaks in hopes of gaining their support, too. I was then introduced to Autism Speaks U, an initiative of Autism Speaks that works with college students who host fundraising, awareness and advocacy events. They welcomed my project with open arms. By the time I got in touch with the organization, RFA had already participated on a variety of local tours with bands including The Summer Set, Every Avenue, Hotspur, There For Tomorrow, Hit the Lights, Sparks the Rescue, Four Year Strong, Blink-182, and AFI. The next undertaking was this year’s Vans Warped Tour.
Vans Warped Tour is a national tour that services an average of 12,000-15,000 kids a day with a variety of acts. During the tour, RFA will have a booth set up that will be fundraising for Autism Speaks U in an innovative way that will appeal to the student demographic. RFA will have a dice game in which everyone wins for just a buck! Prizes range from pins to skatedecks and more, all while spreading awareness and education to the next generation autism will affect more directly. The tour will run June 25-August 11 and you can come by the booth at any time at any of those cities to support the cause! Click here for a list of cities.