This year, our blog will feature a new series of posts written by TMA Co-Founder Sunny. To kick off 2018, we hope you enjoy getting to know her a little better.
My name is Sunny. I was born in South Korea, and was born completely blind. I was adopted when I was two years old, and when I was four years old, I discovered I have perfect pitch.This inspired me to start studying piano. I took lessons from the time I was 5 to when I was 15. I went to Maryland School for the Blind, and I graduated in 2007. I was diagnosed with autism when I was 13 years old. After I graduated from Maryland School for the Blind, I was placed in a sheltered workshop where I remained for eight years.
In 2015, I left the sheltered workshop, and I now participate in a program called Self-Directed Services. This program allows me to hire my own job coaches, direct my plans, and set my own goals and objectives. These days, I enjoy going out to eat, walking and exercising, and talking on the phone and visiting with friends. I also enjoy when my whole family is together. I have six brothers and one sister.
In 2011, I met my friend CJ Shiloh. I played piano and sang at her second Sensory Friendly Concert, which took place in July. It was at this time that she asked me to serve on her Board of Directors as co-founder of her non-profit, the Musical Autist. She was specifically looking for somebody on the autism spectrum to serve on her board, because Autistic people should have their voices in their own organizations. I enjoy going out in the community and helping CJ with our organization, especially in my role as Jam Session Coordinator. CJ and I have spoken at music therapy and autism conferences and have told many people about the mission and vision of The Musical Autist. Our mission statement is to provide equal access to the fine arts and platforms for self-advocacy. I will talk more about our mission and vision in my next blog post.
Throughout my time serving on the board, I have done many music performances. Currently, I play at three different nursing homes. Recently, I became a new member of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council. I went to my first meeting in December. As I continue to serve on the Board of Directors of The Musical Autist, my hope is that I will reach more people on the autism spectrum and help them reach their full potential.