Jonathon Foulk is proud of what he just accomplished a few weeks ago, and he should be.
The 18 year old former Alvin High School student just won gold at the Junior Olympics!
Although he is autistic, he is high functioning and speaks and acts well for his age group.
Since he was 11 years-old in sixth grade at Harby Junior High, Jonathon has loved martial arts, winning his first state championship at age 13.
But, after he left Harby, he was not involved in the sport, until he reached high school.
“I wanted to get more experience in karate, so around 2008, I went to a karate class at ACC (Alvin Community College)”.
Now, he is gold medal winner, thanks to the Kickstart program.
“I like how you can lean how to defend yourself and the discipline,” he said.
He’s like the other members of Alvin Kickstart, practices twice a week.
Just a few weeks before the Junior Olympics, Nationals were held. However, since Jonathon had just graduated, the family wanted him to enjoy his senior trip. The family packed up and went to Florida. “That was his choice, he picked it, so we went,” said his step-mother, Richell.
But, as soon as the trip ended, Jonathon was back at practice and working towards the Junior Olympics.
Finally, the day arrived and the entire team headed to Houston for the competition.
Jonathon had worked hard on his moves and entered the “Exhibition Division”.
He performed “Kata” a form of movements, lasting up to two minutes.
“I had some slips here and there, but I fixed them,” he said. When the completion ended, the winners were announced and Jonathon’s name was called. “I didn’t expect to get first place!” he said.
“I was thinking, “Oh, wow, they are awesome, they are calling my name.”
He received his gold medal, then was congratulated by his coach and family.
“We are really proud, and the discipline has helped him a lot,” said Richell Foulk, his step-mother. “He knows how to control himself.”
His gold medal will be displayed at his home, where all the many he has won over the years cover his walls.
Although he will continue to be involved in Karate, he said he has other plans in his life as well.
For more than two years,
he has worked weekends at the Alvin Express, helping around the store and cleaning. He will continue working in the future.
He is currently registering for classes at ACC to pursue a career as a medical transcriptionist. “I am pretty fast on the keyboard,” he said.
Prior to heading to the Junior Olympics in Houston’s George Brown Auditorium, the group attended a Karate Camp where they practiced their routines.
Before each of the karate team’s twice a week training classes, they attend Bible Study, where their coach, Sensi Wade Jenkins leads them as well as their practices.
Not only does Jonathon have plans for his future, he is being encouraged by his church.
They provided a scholarship for him for $2,000 to cover his first semester at ACC. They have promised to continue to help him achieve his goals.
“This gold medal means a lot. He has put a lot of effort in training by getting up early and doing a lot of work,” said Richelle Foulk.