Teen teams up with Joe Jonas to raise $10,000 for Eton Academy - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Teen teams up with Joe Jonas to raise $10,000 for Eton Academy

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16-year-old Kiersten Olsen is one incredible kid.

"Always look for the little positive things in life. I mean, even when you're going through the hardest times in life, there's always something positive you can look at," she said.

When it comes to Olsen, she is wise well beyond her years, but not too long ago she was not as confident and courageous as she is now. Her spirit was crushed and what hope she did have was gone.

"I was once told by a teacher I was so stupid I'd be lucky if I could learn how to flip burgers," Olsen said. "Made me not really even try as much because it's just like, okay, well if you don't think I can do it, then I probably can't do it."

But what a difference a building with a bunch of awesome people inside it can bring.

"Really brilliant young lady that no one could see and she could barely see herself, and I said we can help you," said Pete Pullen, head of Eton Academy.

When Olsen became a student at Eton Academy in Birmingham, she blossomed.

"I'm just so happy here that it's just allowed my self confidence to skyrocket, which has allowed me to do things that I would've never done before," she said.

Olsen is not ashamed to say that she has a learning disability. In fact, she is proud to profess it because she has decided to own and accept who she is.

"I have ADHD, non-verbal learning disorder, anxiety, depression, slow processing, not a very good active working memory," she said. "The transformation that I've just seen in my own life since I've come here has just been amazing."

"Yes, you have these things that are difficult for you, but your disabilities also make you special and amazing just the way you are."

Now when you think of Olsen, you don't think typical teenager, but she is in some ways.

"I love the Jonas Brothers. I'm their biggest fan."

So she entered a contest because Joe Jonas just so happened to be part of it.

"It's called the Acuvue One Day Contest, and to enter it you made a 30 to 60 second video talking about what you wanted to do one day," she said. "I also entered the contest because Eton Academy has done such great things for me."

A couple of weeks later she found out she won, so Olsen and her mom jumped on a plane to Los Angeles.

"There aren't words in the dictionary that could describe the amazing experience and time and everything that Acuvue's been able to give me."

Olsen received celebrity treatment and she deserves it, red carpets, big time interviews and the Teen Choice Awards. You name it, she did it, and, of course, Olsen met Joe Jonas.

"To be able to talk with him was just so surreal. Like the entire time I was with him, I was just like if this is a dream, please nobody pinch me because I don't want to wake up."

For Olsen, the Acuvue One Day Contest has been a dream come true.

"This experience has been once in a lifetime."

And to Mr. Joe Jonas, if you see this.

"Joe, you're an amazing person. You're everything I thought you were and more."

Together they raised $10,000 for Eton Academy.

"We were going to sell hamburgers, cheeseburgers, grilled cheeses and pastrami sandwiches and stuff, and all the money that we raised, we were going to give back to the school."

"Completely blown away that she would take this really special moment in her life to see and meet her idol and have that connected to us," Pullen said.

To everyone at Eton Academy, Olsen wants you to know this.

"I have them to thank for everything. Everything is individualized for kids with learning disabilities, so it's the best place for us to be," she said. "I want to become a teacher, and I want to come back and work here and hopefully change other kids' lives like Eton has been able to change mine."

Eton Academy is a nationally awarded school educating boys and girls in grades one through twelve. For more information on the school, visit www.etonacademy.org.

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