BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- The Michigan Department of Civil Rights and the Autism Alliance of Michigan announced the Relentless Tour – a first-of-its-kind anti-bullying initiative − will visit Bronxville, Eastchester and Scarsdale on April 28-30.
Motivational speaker Anthony Ianni was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of four and was the victim of bullying as a child. His parents were told he would never go to college, never be an athlete, and would likely live in a group home as an adult. In spite of the bullies, the adversity and the challenges, Ianni graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in sociology, and became the first known individual with autism to play Division I college basketball.
Under coach Tom Izzo, Ianni played with the 2010 and 2012 Big Ten Champion and Tournament Championship teams, and the 2010 Final Four team. Ianni has won a number of awards including Michigan State’s Tim Bograkos Walk-On Award, the 2012 Michigan State Unsung Player Award, and was named a 2013 Detroit Pistons Community Game Changer Finalist.
The Relentless Tour schedule is as follows:
- Ianni will be the celebrity assistant coach in a basketball game at Bronxville High School on Tuesday, at 8 p.m. This event is free and open to students, faculty, families and the general public as part of Autism Awareness Month.
- On Wednesday, Ianni will speak to students at Greenvale School in Scarsdale at 8:45 a.m. and again at 9:30 a.m. Ianni will also visit Anne Hutchinson School in Eastchester with presentations at 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Students at Eastchester Middle School will hear from Ianni at 1 p.m.
- Ianni will speak to students at Tuckahoe Middle/High School on Thursday at Tuckahoe Middle/High School in Eastchester at 8:30 a.m.; at W.E. Cottle School Auditorium at 9:30 a.m.; and at Tuckahoe Middle/High School again at 1:40 p.m.
“Bullying is something we must put an end to, not only in Michigan but across the country,” said Ianni. “Everyone is affected by bullying in some way and students with autism are at incredibly high risk to be victimized. Our hope is that through my story and spreading our message we can not only inspire kids to take a stand against bullying but also make bullies rethink their actions.”
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