Andrew Dicarlo

I was very young when my dad had become disabled. When you are little it's hard to understand what will happen as a result of something else. I am learning how this tragedy will affect my family forever. When I look around, I see other dads doing things with their kids, normal simple things. My dad and my family have missed out on so much, graduations, birthdays, holidays and even things like just a meal with us. We miss not having a father; he might be here in body but not in mind and spirit. He is a shell of what he once was.

I had thought my family’s lives changed when my dad was injured at work. That was just the beginning for us. I then suffered a traumatic brain injury and we never thought I would recover. I was not able to attend school and felt like life was over for me. My dad and I are really lucky we have the support not only from our family, but our extended family, Twin Boro Physical Therapy & Kids Chance of New Jersey. They embraced us with more than just financial help for college. They understood what has happened to us, they were kind and compassionate at a time of darkness. Knowing I would have such an organization there helped me on my own path to recovery. I worked hard to get back to school, studied and tried not to let what happen to myself and my dad take over. I want to do something worthwhile with my life and to make a positive impact to those around me. With the help of Twin Boro Physical Therapy and KCNJ I see anything is possible even when you think there is no answer and nothing will change. Because of you I want to do my best and move forward, to continue to give back to my community and those I care about.

I was recently named the first student at Mendham High School to be selected for the Young Science Achievers Program and STEM Scholars. I continue to volunteer with Morris County Arts Workshop and work with children. I help mentor them through robotics and various camps. I am interested in inventing, math and science. I am not going to a four-year college as most of my classmates. I am staying close to home for the next two years to help with my dad just as my sister Marissa did. I am starting my college career at Morris College and will then transfer to a four-year school suited to my interests in math and science. I will consider a field in engineering to put my background in math to use.

Because of Twin Boro Physical Therapy and KCNJ, I had even more motivation to graduate with my class from Mendham High School 2016. You are a big reason I am able to stand before you tonight. I felt a thank you wasn't enough; I wanted you to see who I was and how much it means to my family what you are doing. I am humbled by your caring, kindness and generosity. I feel very blessed that you choose me.