Denver, CO – Ben Jenkins is a talented young pianist with autism. His family are unable to pay the tuition required for Ben to be able to attend Boston’s prestigious Berklee School of Music at the start of semester in September. Autism Daily Newscast first covered this story in June, and can be read here
Diagnosed as a child, doctors initially told Ben’s parents that there was a possibility that he would never learn to communicate verbally and would possibly require institutionalization when he reached adulthood.
Undeterred, they enrolled him into an ABA program for six years in hopes of helping increase Ben’s chances of learning to speak and having a relatively high quality of life. The family ultimately spent upwards of $250 000 on Ben’s therapy, eventually using their entire life savings.
His parents were not in a position to provide the financial support he needs to pay the $60 000 tuition fee for Berklee College because all of his education funds had been spent on therapy, so they started a fundraiser. In addition, Ben began doing concerts locally and selling a CD.
9 News website reports that his parents said the Administrators of Berklee College were so impressed with Ben’s story that they have offered him a four year scholarship. Ben continues to raise funds and sell his CD in the hopes of creating a documentary about his story.