North Penn High School student gets big honor for raising awareness about autism

- A North Penn High School student got a big honor for raising awareness about autism.

"Do you know who the king is? Yes. Who is it? Ben. Do you know where I can find him? He's right there," said one student I asked about another student.
 
In a dress and a pair of my finest heels FOX 29's Shawnette Wilson crashed the North Penn Knights baseball game against the Souderton Indians this afternoon looking for one student everyone calls the king.
 
"Oh yeah Ben. He should be down there in the infield," said another student.  His name is Ben Hartranft. He's a North Penn senior and he's popular. On Thursday, he threw out the first pitch as his school celebrated autism awareness and he sang the national anthem.  Halfway through the game Shawnette finally found him.
 
"Don't tell me. I know exactly who you are. You're the king,” she said to Ben. “Yes, I'm the homecoming king," he laughed.  Ben has a become a celebrity around school.
 
"These are my baseball friends," he said.  Ben also has autism.
 
"The whole school supported this and I just think it was great," he said.
 
Teachers love him.
 
"I’m going to cry because he is the most awesome kid in the whole world," said Mrs. Moreno.  He even shares a special bond with Gino, another worker at the school.
 
"I hear him all over the place yelling Gino, Gino. He's a nice kid. I love him. He's a good kid."
 
Ben is quite the man but more than being popular he wants to educate others about autism.
 
"I'm so grateful. I love communicating with people. When I was three I didn't talk and now today I just talk, talk, talk and talk. There's no button to stop me," said Ben.
 
His mother couldn't be prouder.
 
"He's worked so hard to be who he is and he just enjoys life and I think that's what people appreciate about him," said Sandy Hartranft.
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