A local 25-year-old is trying to empower people living with autism, parents, and teachers by using his own diagnosis. His message is simple, college is possible, and autism doesn't define you.
"If I put my mind to something I can do something anyone else can do,” says Zach Zaborny. He's living and working in Fargo, but traveling the world sharing his story. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was 8 years-old.
"Sometimes social difficulties can persist, I know that when I was in school growing up I had problems with understanding certain social interactions. Sarcasm has always been a problem I can't pick up on it very well." Says Zaborny, explaining the autism spectrum. "People have said oh well, maybe you shouldn't do this, or maybe you shouldn't do that. And I have to go and say well no, I can do this. I am going to do this just to show you I can do it."
Despite some people telling him what he can and can't do he graduated from college and holds multiple jobs. Through his success he's speaking out, saying often times no one tells those with autism that they do have options, and they can succeed.
"My message is to throw all that out the window, tell parents and people on the spectrum, tell everybody that, no, college is possible. There are ways to be successful, and I am out there to show people that and prove that, and I am proof that the success is real in that sense because I have been through it and I have succeeded."
He says the transition into adulthood isn't easy for anyone, especially for those told they are at a disadvantage.
"Life on the spectrum doesn't define me, being on the autism spectrum isn't who I am. It's just a part of me, and if I put my mind to something I can do something anyone else can do."