Meet the beautiful and inspirational Anne Marie Buckle, Hope For Three’s January Autism All-Star. Diagnosed on the spectrum at just three years old, she is now a dedicated philanthropist and successful entrepreneur at twenty years old.
Anne Marie graduated from The HUB Houston in 2019 and currently lives at home with her mom, dad, younger sister Erin, and her rescue service dog Lilley whom she takes excellent care of. She also has a twin sister named Grace and an older brother named Joseph. Her family is very close, and they have been incredibly supportive in helping her work towards independent living. Anne Marie started her own salsa business, Rie’s Pleasing Picante, which has been very successful. She makes homemade salsas in small batches to ensure freshness. Each batch is made without added sugar, no added preservatives, and is gluten-free. Anne Marie sets up booths at various Hope For Three Fundraisers to sell her salsa and take individual orders (we can vouch, it’s yummy!). Anne Marie has also worked at HEB for over a year as a bagger. She is noted as being overly responsible and always showing up on time, ready to work.
Anne Marie enjoys listening to music, baking sweets, cooking, watching movies and YouTube videos, working out, dancing, and playing games such as Jeopardy. She is known for her love to talk and meet new people, having a video graphic memory, and the ability to find anything that is lost. Her family characterizes her as a goal setter, never giving up, and always being joyful with a desire to make others happy.
Anne Marie has a servant’s heart and has been volunteering in the community since she was young. She started out assisting her mom with projects at home and helping their neighborhood, church, and schools. As she grew older, she began volunteering alongside her mom at events. Some of her favorite volunteer activities include “Project St. Nick” and “Trunk or Treat” at her church, singing karaoke at Buckingham Retirement Community, calling Bingo for senior citizens, filling backpacks for local students in need, and cooking and baking for first responders after Hurricane Harvey. The organization she and her mom, have worked most closely with is Hope For Three. For over six years, Anne Marie has volunteered at their fundraisers, including the Annual Autism Awareness Luncheon, Teen Huddle, Golf Fore Autism, and the Annual Felicia Smith Jigsaw Puzzle Competition. She even sang the National Anthem at Strike Out Autism at Constellation Field! Anne Marie is also a guest speaker at Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office’s Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) sessions. She makes presentations to recognize and effectively interact with and calm autistic individuals when they are in distress. Supporting the CIT program is very near and dear to her heart; Anne Marie even spoke at the Texas CIT State Conference. One of Anne Marie’s most cherished accomplishments was when she was crowned Texas Teen Miss Amazing in March of 2017 and then represented Texas at Nationals in Chicago, where she tied for third place. Being Miss Amazing allowed her to spread her message as a self-advocate and entrepreneur that women with disabilities want to be treated with compassion and respect and not pitied.
Anne Marie has spent her life living the mantra of Dream Big, Believe in Yourself, and Work Hard to Make Your Dreams Come True. She continually progresses in taking on new responsibilities and is always willing and grateful to help serve others. She never gives up and is still willing to work hard for the things she wants to achieve. All of this is what makes Anne Marie an Autism All-Star.