Teen works through challenges in front of a camera
A Bellingham high school teenager is making a statement over the airwaves.
14-year-old Joe Cavallaro has been part of an anchor duo on Hawk News since last year, when he was in 8th grade.
"And he's been a very important part, member, of this club ever since,” said club adviser and health teacher, Carlos Costa.
"When you see him on Hawk news, he's just a normal kid like me,” said Wes Callery, his co-anchor.
What you don't see is that Cavallaro has autism, high functioning. And on a recent newscast, he opened up about his struggles.
"I have challenges with like looking at people straight in the eye when I talk to them,” Cavallaro said.
"I'm super proud of Joe,” said Sue Cavallaro, his mother. “I think Hawk news is a way for him, I think, to communicate with other kids."
"He's respectful, he's accountable. He shows up prepared,” said Costa.
When Callery and Cavallaro aren't taping their weekly show, they're friends.
"He can talk with me about sports and I can talk with him about trains,” said Callery. “He loves trains. He has a YouTube channel on trains."
Trains are something Cavallaro says he has loved since he was two.
"He's really found a community,” said his mother.
"I don't just do trains. I do a few other series. I just concluded a series,” said Cavallaro. “It's called engines of MBTA where I discuss all the engines."
And at school, Cavallaro will tell you he's starting to fit in.
"It's kind of made me like school famous, well, kind of like school popular for the past year," said Cavallaro.
"I think he's an inspiration to me personally,” said Costa. “He makes me want to show up every Thursday."
Cavallaro said he has more than 500 subscribers on his YouTube channel and is hoping for more!