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Big Sister Takes Lessons to Heart

Sydney and Charlie Ramey


Sydney Ramey has learned many things from her younger brother, Charlie, like how to be patient and responsible. Sydney is 17 and Charlie, who has autism, is 14.

Sydney says she also has learned from Charlie that “sometimes it’s best just to throw away your cares and laugh till it hurts.”

That’s not all she’s throwing because of her brother’s inspiration. Sydney is a rising senior at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, where she is the pitcher on the softball team. This spring, she created a fundraiser called Strikeout Autism, in which she sought pledges for each strike she threw. She ended the season with 764 strikes and 43 strikeouts and raised $2,082.40, which she donated to the Autism Society of North Carolina and Charlie’s school, Just Right Academy.

Sydney’s family has a history of supporting ASNC. In 2009, they helped organize a fundraiser with the Carolina Mudcats baseball team in Zebulon, which raised more than $4,000. Their company, Creative Business Interiors Inc., has also served as sponsors for the Triangle Run/Walk for Autism and provided thousands of dollars’ worth of furniture for ASNC’s offices.

“It was important for me to help the ASNC and my brother’s school, because I’ve seen them both touch lives. From early on in my life, I’ve heard and seen what ASNC does for autistic people and their families and I wanted to be a part of that,” Sydney said. Just Right Academy has “an exceptional staff and bright, wonderful students. It makes me glad to hear what my brother and his friends conquer each day when they go to school.”

“I’ve learned so much just by watching him grow and experience the world,” Sydney said. “Autistic people don’t have to be coddled because what they do and accomplish every day makes them stronger than most people. They deserve our respect and to be treated like everyone else.”

In many ways, Charlie is just like everyone else, Sydney said.

“Like any little brother, he likes to play tricks on me. When we go to the beach, he walks around the pool with his water gun and squirts people (mainly my dad and I). Charlie also loves the water, so we spend a lot of time at the lake, where we swim, ride on the boat, and go tubing.”

Charlie is also very creative and enjoys drawing and creating videos on his iPad, Sydney said. “Charlie has a very infectious sense of humor, so we spend a lot of time watching funny videos and joking around.”

Being Charlie’s sister has influenced Sydney in a positive way.

“Because of my brother, I enjoy volunteering at places like The Autism Society, Just Right Academy, and Special Olympics,” Sydney said. “I like to think that by having Charlie as my brother, I have become a better, stronger person. For this I am truly blessed.”

ASNC is honored to be the recipient of Sydney’s generosity and creativity! If you would like to learn more about how to create your own fundraiser for ASNC, click here.


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