MDCR’s Ianni to speak at free autism awareness event

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Anthony Ianni, former Michigan State University basketball player, will speak about overcoming barriers with being autistic at Baker College in Auburn Hills. The event is hosted by Baker College of Auburn Hills Disability Services, to raise awareness and support of autism in conjunction with National Autism Awareness Month, which is April. The event is at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 25, in the Baker College of Auburn Hills Student Center. For more information click...

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Ianni brings anti-bullying message to Sterling Heights High School

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“Get out there and make a change.” That was the message former Michigan State University basketball player Anthony Ianni delivered April 1 to students at Sterling Heights High School as part of his “Relentless Tour,” which seeks to raise awareness of autism and the problem of bullying in schools across the nation. Ianni said he was able to overcome the challenges and obstacles in his life by focusing on three “keys to success” – motivation, hard work and support. To read the full story click...

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Ianni talks bullying with Gladstone Junior High

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The Relentless Tour, a state–wide anti–bullying initiative, made its way to schools in Delta County November 10. Anthony Ianni, a member of multiple championship basketball teams at Michigan State University and a National Motivational Speaker for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, offered words of inspiration based on growing up with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He also sent a strong message to kids about bullying. “Just be careful what you say and do to others, because you never know who that person’s going to be in life,” said Ianni. “They could be the next LeBron James, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, whoever.” “When Anthony speaks about the bullying, we see how the kids really look at him, and we hope that they can take this with them into their communities and their home, and we can combat bullying,” said Kelly Constantino, Sault Tribe Youth Education Services and Activities Coordinator. This was the second time some of the students at Gladstone Junior High School got to hear Ianni’s words of wisdom. “I just want the kids to remember that they’re part of a family here,” Ianni added. “They’re part of the Gladstone Braves family for life. I could tell that great things are going on here at Gladstone Junior High, and I hope that these kids carry on that change forever and ever, and hopefully when they’re older in their lives, they can try and make the same impact that they’re making today in their town.” The Relentless Tour kicked off in the state capitol in mid–October, and has since featured the likes of people like Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and MSU Basketball Coach Tom Izzo spreading the anti–bullying message. Read the article...

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Ianni to Speak at West, Interlochen

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TRAVERSE CITY — Motivational speaker Anthony Ianni, a member of Michigan State University’s 2010 and 2012 Big Ten Champion and Tournament Championship teams and the 2010 Final Four team, will speak at 10:30 a.m. at Interlochen Elementary School and at 1 p.m. at Traverse City West High School. The event is part of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights’ Relentless Tour, an anti-bullying initiative. Ianni was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 4 and was the victim of bullying as a child. He graduated from Michigan State University and became the first known individual with autism to play Division I college basketball. Under MSU coach Tom Izzo, Ianni played with the 2010 and 2012 Big Ten Champion and Tournament Championship teams and the 2010 Final Four team. He has won a number of awards including MSU’s Tim Bograkos Walk-On Award, the 2012 MSU Unsung Player Award and was named a 2013 Detroit Pistons Community Game Changer Finalist. Through the Relentless Tour, Ianni, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and the Autism Alliance of Michigan seek to raise awareness of autism and the problem of bullying. See the article here....

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LCHS hosts anti-bully advocate Anthony Ianni

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Before Anthony Ianni played in two Big Ten Championships and a Final Four with Michigan State University basketball, he spent his early years coping with autism and bullies. On Tuesday, 26-year-old Ianni will share his success story and message of autism awareness with students at L’Anse Creuse High School in Harrison Township on their first day of school. L’Anse Creuse High School Principal Stephen Czapski said the first day of school was selected for Ianni’s presentation in order to get the school year off to a good start. This is the first time Ianni — who has spoken at our schools around Macomb County — has brought his presentation to the school. “I hope it will teach our students that all individuals are unique and different. As a school, we have to come together and celebrate our differences if we truly want to create an atmosphere of mutual concern within our building,” Czapski said. Ianni’s Relentless Tour is an initiative of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. “Anthony focuses on bringing attention to bullying and to helping kids find the tools and strength to fight back against bullying,” Michigan Department of Civil Rights Communications Director Vicki Levengood said. Ianni will begin his presentation at L’Anse Creuse High School at 1:10 p.m., followed by a meet-and-greet with students. “He is a very positive role model that was a successful student athlete at Michigan State University,” Czapski said. Diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder on the Autism Spectrum at the age of 4, Ianni found himself the target of bullying until his freshman year in high school. Despite daunting odds presented by doctors, Ianni graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in sociology and became the first known athlete with autism to play Big Ten basketball, participating in two winning Big Ten Championships, a Big Ten Tournament Title and as member of the 2010 Final Four team. He was the recipient of the 2011 Tim Bograkos Walk On Award and won the 2012 Unsung Player Award. “My presentation is divided into two parts. The first part is called the motivational part. I talk about my story, being diagnosed with autism and overcoming challenges and obstacles I had,” Ianni said. Ianni said the second section of the presentation focuses more on anti-bullying before tying everything together during the closing. According to information from the Relentless Tour’s website, children with autism are one of the highest targeted groups to be victims of a bully, with numbers ranging from 65 percent to 90 percent. Ianni said that he personally was able to overcome bullying through basketball, earning his fellow students’ respect in high school. “A lot had to do with basketball. Obviously growing up I played different sports. Basketball was one of them. I started playing on the basketball team. I started noticing a huge difference in the respect level given me in high...

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