Rollins College valedictorian with nonspeaking autism delivers graduation address

Elizabeth Bonker imparts to the Class of 2022, 'God gave you a voice. Use it.'

Before the Rollins College of Liberal Arts Spring 2022 graduating class earned their diplomas, the graduates heard from a fellow classmate who used her unique voice to encourage them to move forward in life in service to others.

Standing at the podium at Showalter Field, Elizabeth Bonker addressed the graduating class. The 24-year-old shared her message not only with her fellow graduates, but with the world.

“I have typed this speech with one finger with a communication partner holding a keyboard. I am one of the few lucky nonspeaking autistics who have been taught to type,” Bonker said, using a text-to-speech program.

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