Fresno native with ADHD helps others this Disability Pride Month

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Wednesday, July 27, 2022
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One Fresno native is overcoming the challenges she faced and helping others do the same.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- July is Disability Pride Month... and Tuesday is the anniversary of The Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law in 1990.

One Fresno native is overcoming the challenges she faced and helping others do the same.

Zofia Trexler graduated from Fresno City College with a 4.0 GPA, three associates degrees. But she also lives with a disability others may not see.

Zofia was diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD in high school.

It is a non-apparent disability and a neurodivergence, where the brain works a little differently.

ADHD is a chronic condition and can impact one's mental health.

Zofia shares, "When I started high school, my mental health got really bad and I had a suicide attempt after which my academic performance really was not good."

After receiving support, Zofia graduated high school and enrolled at Fresno City College where she won the Dean's Medallion.

Zofia also became a board member of California Youth Empowerment Network or CAYEN.

The organization offers mental health resources and helps influence statewide public policy.

Matthew Diep is CAYEN'S Program Manager.

"Youth are learning self advocacy in this process as well. So while they're advocating for the community, they're also able to take these skills and apply them in their own lives as well," says Matthew.

Zofia is off to Stanford this fall. She will study Urban Studies and Human Rights.

She hopes to create community-based solutions to mental health challenges, and hopes to see affordable resources for all.

Zofia says, "We need to create a world that embraces difference in how we think and how we perceive things and create spaces for people who do think a little differently, or whose brains work a little differently."

To learn more about CAYEN you can visit here.