CIP Celebrates Autism Month by Giving Back to the Community

In honor of Autism Month in April, students and staff at the College Internship Program’s five national centers of excellence are giving back to the larger communities that help support them. 


Our five Centers are located across the country - two in California, one in Indiana, and Florida, and the flagship Center in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts are mobilizing to celebrate the abilities and achievements of themselves and their CIP peers and teammates.


Established almost four decades ago, our mission is centered around Founder and Psychologist Dr. Michael McManmon’s tenet of, “You are inherently valuable and made for good purpose.” Our students learn under the guidance of a 2:1 staff ratio about themselves and techniques they can use to successfully navigate social skills, independent living, college academics, and life in a way unique to their own needs.


This year, CIP’s Centers are celebrating Autism Month with creative ways to give back to the various communities who support them.


CIP Brevard in Melbourne, Florida is event-planning ‘Unmasking Autism”,  a formal dance- complete with a three-course meal - for young adults in the area, and will also participate in a cross-training event with the US Coast Guard. 


In CIP’s Berkeley, California Center, students will join over 40,000 other walkers across the country in The Best Buddies Friendship Walk - the leading walk in the country supporting inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Berkeley students and staff will also be working in collaboration with Berkeley Youth Alternatives to conduct a City of Berkeley Park and Recreation Center clean-up. 


In Long Beach, California, students will be running a booth with sensory activities for a local Autism Acceptance Fair. Long Beach students will also hold a food drive for the Long Beach Fire Department to be presented to them during a question-and-answer session with the fire department. 


The Bloomington, Indiana local farmer’s market will see CIP Bloomington students designing and operating a booth complete with special presentations each weekend on various topics surrounding autism as well as an interactive community art project. 


And in Lee, Massachusetts, CIP Berkshire will present an all-student talent show in conjunction with the opening of CIP’s National Student Art Contest exhibit at the Good Purpose Gallery. The annual art contest brings a myriad of art mediums, including creative writing and 3D artwork from CIP students nationwide.


The goal of each event is to allow students to collaboratively work together with each other and other members of the community to facilitate opportunities for individuals with and without autism to spread acceptance, inclusion - and most importantly - appreciation of the extensive and expansive abilities and talents woven into the autism community.

About College Internship Program

The College Internship Program is a comprehensive transition program for young adults on the Autism Spectrum and with Learning Differences. Our Mission is to inspire independence and expand the foundation on which young adults with Autism, ADHD, and other Learning Differences can build happy and productive lives.