Meet Stephen C. Buffamante

Meet Stephen C. Buffamante

Meet Stephen C. Buffamante

By Joan Frances –

Asenior at Lamar Consolidated High School, Stephen Buffamante has not had a conventional high school career. Growing up, Stephen was tested with extreme challenges and disappointments, but he has overcome many obstacles and continues to develop his skills and gain knowledge. He is an outstanding student academically and excels in extracurricular activities. As he continues to move forward in his life, Stephen is taking the journey to connect to this world, and he is undeniably respected by his teachers and peers.

Stephen is strong in academics. He was named an Advanced Placement scholar and has earned the class rank of 87 out of 327 seniors. Throughout his years at Lamar Consolidated High School, he has been engaged with the speech and debate team as co-captain of Public Forum Debate. He competed with the Technology Student Association, an engineering club, and was a member of the team that placed second in district in 10th grade at the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Academic Competition in Current Events. Stephen is a member of Youth in Philanthropy and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA).

Every year, Stephen has participated in the Lamar Consolidated ISD College Night and has volunteered at the Special Olympics, judged junior high speech and debate tournaments and volunteered with Project Noel at the Richmond State School during the holidays.

Stephen was diagnosed with Asperger’s and ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). His perspective is venerable. “My defining trait is that I am not normal. In fact, I hate the concept of being normal with a passion. Being normal makes you merely part of the woodwork. A normal person will not make a difference. I have very lofty dreams, and as such, I cannot afford to be normal.”

200-stephen1Because of his high level of intelligence, Stephen completely understands his behavior. “In high school, generally I have been the most level-headed person in any given situation, unless some sort of disaster were to happen in my personal life or things just built up too much. This didn’t necessarily make things better; it just made things a different kind of bad.

“Due to my Asperger’s syndrome and therefore lack of empathy and ability to show it, people started to regard me as an emotionless and uncaring person. This version of me was much better than the me who was ruled by impulse and emotions. It allowed me to use my intelligence to the fullest and keep a level head while making decisions and look at things logically rather than emotionally. Despite being the other extreme, it actually made it easier to make friends. I still continue to work on who I am and how I can fit into the world socially. I no longer hide my emotions; I have learned over time to talk about the things that bother me and identify when I need a break from any chaos around me.”

Stephen’s view of life is inciteful. “What truly makes someone great is the individual parts of a person’s life, all of the pain and fear and all of the strength and courage needed to overcome adversity. I want to take my intelligence, the new knowledge I gain and everything that I have learned on my journey to fitting into this world to make a better world –  not a fair world, but a just world.”

Stephen will attend the University of Texas in Dallas and will major in international economics. Congratulations on your amazing journey and incredible resilience Stephen. We look forward to watching you make an impact on this world in the future.