Darien Williams, a student at The Reddix Center, is a recipient of the 2013 "Yes I Can!" award from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
Williams has overcome many obstacles during his life and shown his peers the meaning of dedication. As with many individuals with autism, his focus and interest is in one primary area, that being his love and gift for music. He was born blind, but did not let this stop him from learning how to play multiple instruments -- the piano, organ and accordian to name a few. And he has the rare gift of "perfect pitch" without needing the benefit of any formal musical training.
He has performed in more than 20 public and community service recitals each year since moving to San Antonio in 2008. And he has won first place in each of the five festivals he has entered with typically developing peers.
The "Yes I Can!” Awards were developed to annually recognize the accomplishments of 21 students with disabilities who have achieved remarkable things. Awards are given in seven categories: academics, arts, athletics, school and community activities, self-advocacy, technology, and transition. Darien is receiving this international award in the arts category.
He was recognized by the NISD Board of Trustees at their May 28 meeting. Pictured is Williams with Superintendent Brian T. Woods and Board President Karen Freeman.