A year ago, Ben Kredich started his freshman year at the University of Tennessee. For the first few mornings, his twin brother, Miles, walked with him to the bus stop. Before long, however, Ben – who has autism – told Miles to it was time for him to stop.
“Miles, you don’t need to come with me anymore,” Ben said.
Ben and Miles are 19 and graduated from West High School in 2017. Their dad, Matt Kredich, is the head coach of UT’s swimming and diving team. Their mom, Kim, is one of Knoxville’s leading advocates for students with disabilities. Their younger brother, Coleman, is entering his senior year at West and has committed to attend Duke University next year on a swimming scholarship.
In a few weeks, Miles will go back to the Savannah College of Art and Design where he is a rising sophomore and a member of the swim team, but he’s still looking out for his brother.
When asked what he did on his summer break, he’s hoping to say he helped Ben take the next big step in his personal growth.
On Monday afternoon, unbeknownst to Ben, Miles posted a petition on Change.org, asking for signatures in support of Ben being allowed to live in a dormitory. Less than 24 hours later, he had 1,400 signatures and the number was still climbing.
Ben has successfully completed one year as a UT student in the Future Program, which is designed for students with intellectual disabilities and autism. If he is allowed to live in a dorm this year, he would become the first Future Program student to live on campus. Future students pay full tuition and fees, plus an additional $5,000 to support the program. Last year, Ben took a full load of required Future courses, attended regular courses for audit and was an active member of the Vol Swim Club.
The issue appears to be whether Ben is considered a full-fledged student at UT.
Miles sees it like this: his parents wanted him to have the full college experience at SCAD. Coleman will have similar opportunities at Duke. He wants the same for Ben.
This isn’t the first time Miles has advocated for his brother. He’s been working on a documentary about Ben for several years, including the musical score (all the Kredich boys are gifted musicians).
To support Miles Kredich’s efforts on behalf of Ben, go here.