In April, College Internship Program’s Berkeley campus celebrated Autism Awareness Month as an opportunity for invigorating the LD community through knowledge, service, and advocacy.
The autism population has disproportionately low employment rates, a fact that CIP is working to change every day through career workshops, counseling, and job coaching for our students. As a kick-off event for Autism Awareness Month, CIP Berkeley hosted a free panel event for the community that brought together thought-leaders in the realm of employment for people with Autism and other learning differences. With new developments, resources, and out-of-the box opportunities on the horizon, this panel shared a bright message of inclusion for the future of neurodiversity.
Making a positive contribution to society, as we all know, goes well beyond the confines of employment. That is precisely why the entire CIP Berkeley team used Autism Awareness Month as a opportunity to engage in a large-scale community service project. With students and staff working side-by-side, CIP Berkeley went to the home of the San Francisco Giants, AT&T Park, to volunteer in the preparation of an educational conference for the LD community, EdRev. Setting up tables, posters, and swag bags may sound like minutia, but with a cheerful attitude and a knack for workflow, this team sure did find a way to have fun while organizing essential pieces of the conference.
Self-advocacy shone bright as CIP students represented themselves and their classmates in a month-long project called “Light It Up Blue.” Students filled the center with blue decor, and wore blue around town to share awareness of autism. CIP students and alums also took a celebratory lap in blue as they participated in the popular cancer fundraiser, Relay 4 Life.
Knowledge, service, and advocacy are fundamental to the mission of College Internship Program. As the Berkeley campus celebrates opportunities and contributes to the community, the network-building, awareness spreading, and self-empowering design of Autism Awareness Month is undoubtedly paid its due respect.