SUMMIT, NEW JERSEY – This week the New Jersey Monthly magazine announced five recipients of the Seeds of Hope Annual Award. This award is awarded to those who have voluntarily made a difference in the lives of others.
One of this years recipients was Zachary Brooks , age 12, of Summit, New Jersey. Zachary has worked as a volunteer to raise awareness throughout the area in schools, businesses, communities and at Autism Speaks functions. A Public Service Announcement that he made about autism has been played on HomeTown TV.
Zachary is so passionate about bringing knowledge of autism and autism spectrum disorders to the public as his fraternal twin brother, Jack, was diagnosed with autism when they were 3 1/2 years old. He began to notice at a very young age, when he and Jack went places, “people weren’t very welcoming.”
A number of years ago his aunt, Donna Puzella, who co-owns Sweet Nothings in Summit, had started an Autism Awareness group among the business community of Summit. Zachary asked his aunt when he was in the fourth grade if he could help and the campaign “blossomed”.
He has visited many local schools and businesses with his message:
“I’m trying to raise awareness about autism. My twin brother has it. I live with it every day and I want to teach people about it.”
The original article by