Why I Walk for Autism: Team Elijah

Veronica Villasenor and her friends and family walk in honor of her 7-year-old nephew Elijah

In 2008, two years before my nephew Elijah was born, I began helping families who were seeking immigration relief in hardship cases. I spent a great deal of time researching and interviewing applicants about special needs awareness in other parts of the world. This is when I was first introduced to autism.

Flash forward to Elijah’s birth in 2010, and later his autism diagnosis in 2013, one would think I was prepared to render advice and support, but I felt helpless being out of reach and out of state. I realized for Elijah’s sake that there was no time to be upset, so I decided to encourage my network of coworkers and friends to become involved in the Autism Speaks Walk in partnership with SARRC to help create more awareness.

Elijah inspires me to be persistent and find solutions, and I have made it my priority to advocate and raise autism awareness in our community.

Each year, one in 68 children are diagnosed with autism. Events like the Autism Speaks Walk in partnership with SARRC not only promote awareness about autism spectrum disorders, but also raise funds for critical research and programs for those impacted by autism.

-Veronica Villasenor


  • Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018
  • 8:00 a.m.-noon
  • Tempe Beach Park
  • 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe


  • 5K & 1-Mile Family Fun Route
  • Family Fun Festival & Kid Zone
  • Autism Resource Providers
  • Food Truck caravan

Register Today!