Name: Gabriela Millan
Major: Business Management/Marketing
What is your involvement within your organization and the Autism Speaks Philanthropy?
- I have been a proud sister of Alpha Xi Delta since the Fall of 2014. When I became a sister, I knew that I wanted to make an impact and inspire the women I admired so greatly. Easy, right? As I grew within the organization, although inspiring these women was what I wanted, leaving an impact and reaching out to the FIU community to get every one involved, whether they were Greek or not, started to become one of my priorities as well. More than 3.5 million people within the United States alone live with some sort of Autism Spectrum Disorder and the U.S. cost of autism over one single person’s lifespan is about $2.4 million for a person with an intellectual disability, or $1.4 million for a person without intellectual disability. By raising the money that we do, we help these families support their loved ones at ease. Collectively, Alpha Xi Delta nationally has raised over 3 million dollars for Autism Speaks; and that’s just a part of what we do. The lives we effect just by lending a helping hand to a family in need, or playing with the children and learning from them, is worth more than any amount of money I could ever raise.
What plans do you have in order to raise autism awareness?
- Throughout this month, we have several events planned to raise awareness and money towards our national philanthropy, Autism Speaks, starting with our Autism Speaks Week that leads up to our annual pageants, Xi Man, in which we choose our philanthropy representative.
Do you have any upcoming events for your organizations Autism Speaks Week?
- We have several events going on through out the weeks of April! To keep up with our events, follow @axid_fiu for more details!
What does this philanthropy mean to you?
- Originally coming into Alpha Xi Delta, I had no relation to the philanthropy. I knew of some family friends with children effected by Autism, but not anyone that was really close to me. On November 7, 2015, my baby sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This came as a shock to my family and I as we did not know what the next step was. Millions of people are diagnosed with diabetes every day and live perfectly with the condition. On a much lower scale, this experience helped me to relate to those families that are effected by Autism as typically when they find out the news, they are scared and wary about the future ahead of them; much like my own family. If I can make even one person’s life easier through the work that we all do together, then all of the hard work would have been worth it.