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Tim Erven Headshot

How My Brother Inspires Me

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At birth, my younger brother Adam had a lack of oxygen to his brain, which caused brain damage. He suffers from autism, cerebral palsy and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. He is 18 years old, cannot talk and has limited motor skills. Growing up with him has been challenging and rewarding, and has given me an appreciation for the things we take for granted every day -- especially being able to easily communicate verbally with one another. I build customized controllers that enhance video games, and it hurts knowing that Adam cannot experience the joy my products bring due to his lack of hand-eye coordination. Through Adam, I've gotten a firsthand look into the special education system. Unfortunately, some of these children are abused at their schools. It took Adam many years to finally find a school where the faculty accepted him for who he was, and took interest in his life and improving his skills and abilities. At Horizon High School in Livingston, NJ,

The school's goal is to help students at all levels reach their full educational, social and creative potential to live as independently as possible after graduation. Students are grouped in classes by age as well as by ability and they receive one-on-one attention throughout the school day from teachers, aides, therapists and job coaches.

Since Adam has been at Horizon, he has seen much improvement. He is more independent and social, and he keeps surprising us with his improvements. He is now even capable of communicating using an iPad. In 2011, I met Walter Pardo, founder of Wealth Financial Partners. The goal of Wealth Financial Partners is to "help our clients accumulate and preserve the wealth that is the rewards of education, thrift and years of hard work." He and I connected instantly, and met regularly to discuss how we can both aid in expanding each other's businesses. I quickly found out that Walter holds charity events on a regular basis, and went to him when I decided to host my own charity event to benefit Adam's school. As a successful entrepreneur, I hope to use my financial resources and connections to assist others. Adam's school has done great things for him and others, and I am hoping that hosting this event will show my appreciation for their efforts. I can only hope that as I further my career, I can provide the resources for the school to expand and be able to host more students, so that these children do not need to suffer at other institutions. It is important to give back to the community if you have the means to do so. One of the strong motivating factors in my businesses is that someday I will hopefully accumulate enough wealth to truly make a difference in the world. I've seen what Bill Gates has done with his charities and I hope to do the same, except in helping to raise awareness and assist children with disabilities. The event is currently scheduled for late summer/early fall. More details are to follow soon.