From 13 stories we can’t forget: The year of the personal essay

Year in Review

“The professor who fought his child’s bullying with music

Virginia teen Mano Kolman is often treated as “not very cool,” as her father gently puts it. She has high-functioning autism and walks and talks a little bit differently from other kids. Tired of the teasing, her parents came up with a plan: Her dad, Barry, a music professor, would give Mano clarinet lessons.

A year and a half later, Mano is a proud member of her middle school band. Her parents can tell from the way she brags about being a member that it’s made a world of difference in her social life, and they say the lessons made her more focused in school, too. They shared their story on iReport in hopes of helping other children with autism.”


We are humbled by this honor as we read all the other emotional and heartfelt struggles and stories written by our global neighbors. The power of making music should never be underestimated as well as what our children can potentially accomplish. Music found Mano and Mano found music. They will be buddies for life; powerful buddies.


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