RANCHO BERNARDO, Calif. — A perfect day on the course for 12-year-old Carter Bonas.

“I just love playing golf, I love being in nature, I see lots of different animals that I’ve never seen before,” Bonas said.

But as the 2022 Sports Illustrated Kid of the Year would tell you, life’s not always this perfect.

“What I want to tell people is to stay positive, don’t give up and just have a great day,” Bonas said.

Born autistic, the Florida native struggled in the early years of his life finding a place. All of those emotions coming to a head during the pandemic. 

“I was worried that something bad was going to happen to my mom,” Carter said. “I said, what’s going to happen when you’re gone and how would I take care of myself, I can’t even get hired.”

The solution – starting his own clothing company, Spectrum Golf, which opened a whole new world.

More than 60% of adults on the spectrum remain unemployed, according to a recent study by Autism Society. And while Carter found his job, spreading his message remains his life’s work.

“Sometimes, I just turn that bad day into a great day by just staying positive,” Carter continued. “A way to stay positive is by thinking about your family, and thinking about what you love.”