AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Avery Killough recently graduated from Austin Middle School and will be an incoming freshman at Tascosa in the fall.
Avery might be leaving AMS, but what she did this past school year will have a lasting impact for years to come.
Avery has Tourette Syndrome and has had to deal with being picked and made fun of this past school year by classmates.
Instead of retaliating or fighting back, Avery decided it was more important to help try and talk, and educate her peers on exactly what Tourettes Syndrome is and how it affects her.
“It’s important to me to educate because I’m a kid,” Avery said. “If I can educate people and make a platform to use my voice then I can spread awareness and change the future.”
Austin Principal, Brandy Self, helped Avery deal with her struggles over the school year, and was very impressed. In fact, she thought so highly of Avery’s courage, she honored Avery with the first-ever Heart of Avery award in the form of a heart-shaped necklace.
“Avery handled the manner with so much dignity, maturity, and kindness,” Self said. “It inspired me to create an award in her honor. Our intent is to give the Heart of Avery Award to a student each year that demonstrates her qualities. Avery is a wonderful, precious young lady with so much integrity. She is very deserving of any recognition she receives.“
Avery and her mother, Paula, never thought by using her illness as a form to educate would ever lead to such a tremendous honor.
“This doesn’t happen to people like me,” Avery said. “For me to get this award, and let alone have it named after me is a huge honor.” Paula echoed her daughter’s comments.“Having the heart that she has and having the courage to be herself, and the courage to speak out and stand up for herself is an amazing thing.”
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