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Boston University’s Hockey Teams Raise Autism Awareness

February 14, 2012 Leave a comment

For the past 8 years, Boston University Men’s Ice Hockey Team has partnered with Autism Speaks to raise autism awareness and compassion. They have invited families to private practice sessions, hosted meet and greets, helped build play grounds, and volunteered for the Greater Boston Walk Now for Autism Speaks. The team has publicized their involvement with Autism Speaks in media guides, blogs, newspapers, interviews, and at awareness nights in its arena.

This year, their partnership has continued to grow and the players are wearing an Autism Speaks puzzle patch on their jerseys for the entire season. This has created a whirlwind of media attention from TV, radio, and online sports reports. Both the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams have set up Puzzlebuilder fundraising pages, so individuals can purchase a $10 puzzle piece from each player. Their goal is to raise $10,000. Coach Parker also shot a Public Service Announcement about the team’s relationship with Autism Speaks and how important it is to get involved.

This weekend, the following games will be dedicated to Autism Speaks. If in the area, please attend and show your support!

BU Men’s Hockey Autism Awareness Game
Saturday, February 18, 7:30pm
Boston University—Agganis Arena

BU Women’s Hockey Autism Awareness Game
Sunday, February 19, 3pm
Boston University—Walter Brown Arena

Tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster or at the ticket office window during the night of the game.

Autism Speaks is incredibly grateful to Coach Parker and the BU team for being so connected to the mission of the organization.

For additional information, visit www.goterriers.com/autism. Email lea.hadley@autismspeaks.org for questions regarding the games benefiting Autism Speaks.

Player’s Perspective: Colgate University’s Autism Awareness Project

February 2, 2012 2 comments

The two posts below were written by Caroline and Taylor, members of Colgate University’s Women’s Hockey TeamThe team’s Autism Awareness Project will be on Friday, February 3 at 7pm.  For more information or to make a donation, visit www.colgate.edu/autism.  

As our Autism Awareness game has been fast approaching, we have grown more and more excited by the second. As a sophomore, I have witnessed the first year of our autism project, and have even higher expectations for this year. Every time I see a friend, classmate, or another athlete, I ask them if they will be attending the game. Every response is alongthe lines of, “Of course! Our whole team is coming.” It is such an amazing feeling to hear such words, because we know that the whole community is behind us with this project. Ever since my freshman year at Choate Rosemary Hall, I have been involved with autism. During the month of January and February, my Choate hockey team would skate with mentally handicapped kids every Sunday, including kids with the brain disorder, autism. I became incredibly close with a boy named David. He had a huge heart and he would always tell me stories about his teams, his family, and how we were going to win the championship hockey game. When I graduated Choate, I was sad to leave such an eye-opening project, but I was quickly uplifted when my coach, Scott Wiley, announced our autism project for 2011. Coach Wiley designed this project in honor of Kati Williams, a local teenager from Norwich, who has been an avid fan of Colgate Women’s hockey for several years and now works as the team manager. She and her family have had a huge impact on our team. Last year’s project allowed us to cross paths with Christian Mast, an 11 year old boy who has autism, but also the biggest heart I know. He and his family have grown a part of our team, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them.   -Caroline Potolicchio, Sophomore, #2

Caroline & Taylor: Members of Colgate University's Women's Hockey Team

Caroline & Taylor: Members of Colgate University's Women's Hockey Team

Before even coming to Colgate, I had already heard wonderful reports about the success of the Autism Awareness game last year. With the game fast approaching it has been fun to be apart of all of the excitement and commotion I am excited to see all of our hard work pay off this coming Friday. I am so thankful to be a part of such a great team that truly cares for a bigger cause. Just this past weekend when we were on a road trip, a St. Lawrence parent approached me, because she wanted us to know her gratitude to what we were doing for autism. She explained that the biggest problem with this disorder is that a lot of people are not educated that it even exists or that they could potential be diagnosed with it. She stated how our game and the publicity that it receives could be responsible for changing someone’s life. I can contest to this first hand, because our biggest fan is eleven-year-old Autistic boy. Just the way that Christian lights up when he comes to a game to see us, makes all of our efforts and time worth while. I am very excited to see the jerseys that Christian designed for our game, and I am thankful that I have been able to be a part of spreading autism awareness.  -Taylor Craig, Freshman, #5

For more information on Colgate University’s Autism Awareness Project or to make a donation, visit www.colgate.edu/autism.  

Colgate University’s Autism Awareness Project

January 30, 2012 1 comment

This blog post was written by Erin Mast, the Chair for the Central New York Walk Now for Autism Speaks. She is an active member of the autism community and a mother of three boys. Erin and her family have cultivated a wonderful relationship with Colgate University’s Women’s Hockey team. For details about Colgate’s Autism Awarenss Project or to make a donation, visit www.colgate.edu/autism.

If you are reading this blog, then most likely you have some connection to autism. I have two wonderful boys, who happen to be on the spectrum. I also chair the Central New York Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Through my volunteer efforts, I was lucky enough to be involved with the first ever Autism Awareness Event at Colgate University, hosted by the women’s ice hockey team in 2011. On February 3 and the 4, the team is hosting their second event. They are planning amazing things and making such a huge difference to the members of their community. But, more importantly than that, they are changing the lives of people with autism. They are blessed with a wonderful manager, Kati, who is a huge part of the team. Kati has autism. But, it has gone further than that. My son Christian went along with me last year and it has honestly changed his life. He is now playing ice hockey with the Rochester Ice Cats, who are a member of the American Special Hockey Association. Christian was also asked to design the jerseys for the Colgate games throughout the weekend, which he did happily. The jerseys will be worn for two games and then auctioned off, the proceeds being donated to Autism Speaks and other local autism charities

If you would have asked me if an ice hockey program could have changed my life, I would have said, “Absolutely not.” How wrong I would have been. Please take a moment to check out all that the ladies at Colgate University are doing to make a difference in the autism community by going to http://colgate.edu/autism. Support the team and all their efforts! Better yet, join us at Starr Rink on Friday, February 3 at 7:00 pm. Their goal is to break last year’s record by having 1200 fans. Wear blue and get in for free!

Autism Speaks Welcomes National Philanthropic Partner: Theta Delta Chi

December 14, 2011 7 comments

We are thrilled to announced that Theta Delta Chi, one of the nation’s oldest college fraternities, has selected Autism Speaks as its national official philanthropy.  The partnership between Autism Speaks and Theta Delta Chi will engage the thirty-three Theta Delta Chi chapters on college campuses nationwide in autism awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts as part of our Autism Speaks U college program. Autism Speaks U is an initiative that engages college students in their efforts to support Autism Speaks.  Since its inception in 2008, Autism Speaks U events have raised over $1 million for Autism Speaks research and advocacy efforts. There are more than 45 Autism Speaks U chapters on college campuses nationwide.

We are extremely grateful to Theta Delta Chi for partnering with Autism Speaks.  With the support of its members, autism awareness will continue to grow on college campuses throughout the country.  Theta Delta Chi is the second collegiate society to partner with Autism Speaks through its Autism Speaks U program. In 2009, Alpha Xi Delta sorority selected Autism Speaks as its national philanthropic partner. Since the partnership was established, Alpha Xi Delta’s 120 collegiate chapters have raised over $625,000 for Autism Speaks.

For more information, click here to read the press release.

Autism Speaks U Chapter Spotlight: University of California, Irvine

November 7, 2011 Leave a comment

This guest post is by Elizabeth Montiel and Lindsey Marco, two students who established the Autism Speaks U chapter at the University of California, Irvine. Autism Speaks U is a program designed to support college students in their awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts.

My name is Elizabeth Montiel, I am currently a fourth-year Psychology major with a History double major, and founding President of the Autism Speaks U, UCI Chapter. My Sophomore year I took a psychology class in which one of the topics was autism. When the teacher asked students if they knew what autism was, I was appalled to see only a few hands raised. A few months later I mentioned to my friend Lindsey Marco that I wanted to start a chapter of Autism Speaks U on our campus because there was a serious lack of awareness. From the beginning she was very enthusiastic about starting the club. I remember her telling me, “I don’t know much about autism, but its about time I learn.” Since then we’ve been a dynamic duo working towards the goal of spreading Autism awareness to every corner of our campus.

My name is Lindsey Marco, I am a third-year Psychology major and founding Vice President of the chapter. Trying to start a club on a campus of 200+ clubs can be difficult and definitely disheartening. Students in their college state of mind are more focused on passing classes and preparing for their future. When clubs are tabling on campus it is easier to walk by and pretend to be on your cell phone rather than risk having to talk to someone for five minutes about why you should join their club. I was one of those people a year ago, focusing only on school work and friends. When clubs tried to get my attention I would ignore them as best I could. I never really found a club that I was passionate about or that was worthwhile of my time. But one day in class, Elizabeth approached me about her dream of starting an Autism Speaks U chapter on campus. The passion for the cause was clearly evident in her eyes. I had never met someone that truly focused and dedicated towards something. Needless to say I caught the fever. It is hard not to catch that passion and dedication when you are working with Elizabeth, her personal experiences and zeal to create awareness and change is truly inspiring. Now I find myself the person talking about why you should join our chapter, Autism Speaks U at UCI.

Chapter Members at the Orange County Walk Now for Autism Speaks

Our chapter is dedicated towards raising autism awareness on our campus and throughout Orange County, offering volunteer opportunities for members in the community so that they can work one on one with children with autism, providing speakers that are involved in the field of autism to educate and inspire, and fundraising for autism research. This year we have huge plans, as a new club last year our autism awareness week in April, Light it Up Blue was a success, but this year we plan on making it even bigger, making it impossible for a student on our campus to miss. Our Light it Up Blue campaign is planned for the first week of April.

Members of Autism Speaks U UC Irvine, gather together to GO BLUE!

It was amazing to see the overwhelming response we had to the “Go Blue for Autism Speaks U” Facebook photo contest, to see our club grow from two or three people to this amazing show of support from over 1,000. This club would be nothing without the support and passion of others on campus and in our community, we are proud to say that this club has a huge heart and passion that is never in short supply.

Our chapter is currently working with Spirit League, a sports organization for children with disabilities. Their organization provides an opportunity for children to play on a sports team just like other children their age at a pace that is attuned to their needs. Members that come back from Spirit League are hooked and cannot wait to return. Currently Spirit League is playing soccer, every Saturday you can see our members running along side children offering encouragement and keeping them involved. Other community service opportunities include the Friday Night Club, Groupo de Autismo Angeles, and we are currently in the process of finding more opportunities that we can get involved with in the community.

At the beginning we had a really hard time with establishing ourselves on our campus and finding the time to make everything happen. We faced many roadblocks like recruiting members, establishing strong community relations, and finding other student leaders that were dedicated to the success of the club. However, through passion and commitment we have been able to rise and now a year later we are stronger than ever.  We have a passionate board of 14 people working with us now and as we prepare to attend our second Walk Now for Autism Speaks Orange County its amazing to see the difference that one year can make in our ability to raise a strong group of passionate student leaders.

For more information about Autism Speaks U and how you can get your campus involved, visit www.autismspeaks.org/U or email autismspeaksu@autismspeaks.org

How Autism and Facebook Work

October 10, 2011 4 comments

This guest post is by Autism Speaks staffer Kerry Magro. Kerry, an adult who has autism, is a graduate student at Seton Hall University. He started the club Student Disability Awareness on campus to help spread awareness and raise funds for those affected by autism. Autism Speaks U is a program designed for college students who host awareness, advocacy and fundraising events.

Oh the almighty power of social media. It all started for me my second semester of college. I went to a charity event near my hometown in Jersey City, New Jersey with a group of friends when someone asked me to “tag them” in a photo I took. I remember being slightly confused for a second until I was later introduced to the social networking tool of our generation called“Facebook.” It was the hip new trend that would evolve the way I communicated forever.

These memories came back to me earlier this month when I received 3 emails from parents within one week about the advantages and disadvantages of their young individuals with autism using Facebook. In the end, like many experts say, face-to-face interaction never plays second fiddle to online communication, but I think that’s easy for some to say when they are not referring to individuals with autism. I’ve been dealing with anxiety for years when it comes to face to face interaction. Between making enough eye contact, worrying about standing too close to someone, to having topics to discuss to avoid awkward silences, it in all essence becomes like a job, and that’s not fun. It’s a chore at times.

That’s why I love Facebook. I can decide to communicate with people during my free time, and when I feel the most comfortable in doing so. Between adding friends, towards starting groups with friends, playing games, instant messaging, adding photos, it gives you a new outlet to I think the main thing to remember is that most things must come in moderation. Facebook can be as much as a confidence builder in helping individuals with autism as it can be a deterrent if it’s over used (1-2 hours daily should be the max). That’s the key. Autism and Facebook work because it is a communication building tool for youth. After time it should help encourage involvement off the web. As I’ve progressed through Facebook I’ve spent less and less time on it, in exchange for hanging out face-to-face.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you have a loved one with autism who is just starting out on Facebook? What are your concerns? I know there are also a lot of underlying issues (cyber bullying, procrastination, etc.), so as always feel free to email me or comment below with any questions!

This is one of my Autism Speaks U related blog posts. If you would like to contact me directly about questions/comments related to this post I can be reached at kerry.magro@autismspeaks.org or through my Facebook Page here.

Autism Speaks U “Back to School” LIVE Q&A Transcript

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment
On Wednesday, September 21, our Autism Speaks U team hosted a LIVE Facebook Q&A for college students across the country. We discussed topics like how/why to start a collegiate chapter, what events to host,  recruiting strategies, and how to secure event funding. If you were unable to join us last night,  please read below for the full Q&A transcript. You can also visit www.AutismSpeaks.org/U for more information.
7:56
Hello everyone, thanks for joining our LIVE Q&A tonight. We’ll be starting at 8pm EST/5pm PST.
8:01
This Q&A is intended for college students, faculty and staff. The chat is text only – you’ll interact with us via the live chat client that you are logged into right now.
8:01
Moderating this Q&A will be Sarah Caminker and Jaclyn Renner from Autism Speaks U.
8:02
Let’s do a quick roll call, so we know which schools are being represented. Enter the name of the school you attend.
8:02
Comment From Caroline (UC Berkeley)

UC Berkeley

8:02
Comment From Margo Rizzi

Boston College

8:02
Comment From Amanda

Eastern Michigan University

8:02
Comment From Kara

Ohio State University

8:02
Comment From Patty

mansfield university

8:02
Comment From James McDonald

Cisco College

8:02
Comment From Jackie Moreno

University of Southern California

8:02
Comment From Devin Fenyo

SUNY Albany

8:02
Comment From Guest

Community College Of Baltimore County Single Step Program

8:03
Comment From Hailey

Eastern Michigan University

8:03
Comment From Grace

USC

8:04
Looks like we have a great group of schools here tonight! If there are any new comers, please type in your school name.
8:04
Comment From Caroline Williams

Wright State University

8:04
What is your involvement with Autism Speaks U?
I am part of an Autism Speaks U chapter.

 ( 38% )

I have hosted an awareness and/or fundraising event for Autism Speaks U.

 ( 6% )

I have just registered on the Autism Speaks U website.

 ( 6% )

I have just attended a Walk Now for Autism Speaks.

 ( 0% )

I have not done anything yet, but would like to!

 ( 50% )
8:05
Comment From Guest

Allison Love Community College Of Baltimore County Single Step Program.

8:05
During the first part of this chat we’ll focus on 3 topics and then open it up to Q&A.
8:06
The 3 topics will be fall event ideas, event recruitment, and getting funding for events.
8:06
Before we dive into our first topic, we’d like to ask a quick question.
8:06
What is your connection to autism?
My family member has autism.

 ( 35% )

I work with or educate those with autism.

 ( 31% )

My friend’s family is touched by autism.

 ( 8% )

My child has autism.

 ( 27% )

I do not personally know anyone touched by autism.

 ( 0% )
8:07
Now on to fall event ideas!
8:08
If you’re looking to host an event this semester, we’re here to help. We encourage you to be creative, and to get started here are a 4 event ideas.
8:08
1. Dance Marathon: This is the perfect event to dance the night away and raise funds and awareness for autism. Ask your school to donate a venue and have student musicians and DJs donate their time and talent. You can sell tickets, blue glow sticks and deck the event out in blue!
8:08
2. Karaoke Night: Ask a local bar or restaurant to donate their venue. Get prizes donated from local businesses to give to those who come in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
8:08
Download the karaoke competition event guide at:http://bit.ly/karaokenight
8:09
3. Obstacle Course Challenge: If your school has an ROTC obstacle course, see if they’ll let you use it for the day. You can set this up the same way as a walk/run, with teams, vendors and prizes!
8:09
Access our walk/run event guide at http://bit.ly/5kwalk3krun and add to it!
8:09
4. Autism Awareness Sports Game: Ask a popular sports team on campus to donate a game to Autism Speaks U. Players can wear puzzle pieces, blue uniforms, use blue sports equipment, etc. If a night game, sell blue glow sticks and noisemakers as a fun way to get donations.
8:10
See how Colgate University’s women’s hockey team donated a game to Autism Speaks U!
8:10

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Players sported puzzle piece jerseys and lit up their rink blue!
8:10
What are events you are planning, or would like to host this Fall?
8:11
Comment From Caroline (UC Berkeley)

Benefit concert

8:11
Comment From James McDonald

Planning multiple Pizza Partys and Lock In’s

8:12
Comment From Kara

We’re trying to host a laser tag night as a fundraiser

8:12
Comment From Emily

Battle of the Bands event

8:12
Comment From Devin

Mechanical bull riding competition and on a smaller scale recycling drives and dine-in nights at local restaurants

8:12
Comment From Kara

Once it gets cold outside we’re going to sell hot chocolate outside our student union

8:12
Comment From Allison Love

My program might be hosting a mixer which is a dance for our program to raise awareness for Autism and all other disabilities. They told us at the end of last semester.

8:13
Comment From Caroline (UC Berkeley)

We’re also having a bake sale next week.

8:13
Comment From Michelle

A giant scavenger hunt across campus. We’re competing with another club to see who finishes the fastest.

8:13
Comment From Devin

we did a bake sale too and it was successful

8:13
Comment From James McDonald

We are also trying to have a “Auction” where we will be auctioning off faculty members to the students for 1 day. Still in beginning stages but hoping to make them wrap gifts and stuff for x-mas :)

8:14
Comment From Grace Kim

we are not sure yet but diddy riese is an option

8:14
Comment From Caroline (UC Berkeley)

I like the scavenger hunt idea

8:15
Comment From Michelle

We’re going to have Greek life and sports teams compete against each other for the scavenger hunt and finish with a relay race

8:15
Comment From Guest

St. John’s University- Staten Island Campus – Welcome!

8:15
Our next topic is on recruiting students to attend your events.
8:16
If you are part of an Autism Speaks U chapter, have or will you participate in your schools fall activities fair?
Yes

 ( 86% )

No

 ( 14% )
8:16
Activities fairs are a great way to get your name out on campus. If you were unable to attend your activities fair, then tabeling on campus to pass out flyers promoting your meetings and events is a great way to drum up membership.
8:17
Other ways to recruit students includes “dorm storming” the freshman dorms to distribute flyers advertising your event, chalking up the sidewalks and texting 10 people about your event and asking those 10 to forward the text to 10 of their friends.
8:17
You can also contact various academic departments (Psychology, Special Education, Speech & Hearing, Communication, etc.), and ask the department head to send an email out on your behalf to their listserv….this reaches so many students that might not know about your event.
8:17
Reaching out to a few professors, to if ask if you can make an announcement before class is helpful too!
8:18
Remember to create a Facebook event and invite everyone you know to attend! Have your event planning committee invite their friends to attend the event as well.
8:18
Here are a few photos of students promoting their efforts on campus.
8:18

Expand
8:18
That’s of the Autism Speaks U chapter at Ohio State University. They made Autism Speaks ping pong balls to give away at their fall activities fair!
8:19

Expand
Autism Speaks U chapter at UNC at Chapel Hill tabels on campus to raise awareness!
8:19
If you need an Autism Speaks U banner and materials to pass out (posters, handouts, quarter cards, etc.), emailautismspeaksu@autismspeaks.org.
8:19

Expand
Various Autism Speaks U materials
8:19
What are ways you recruit students to attend your meetings or events
8:20
Comment From Michelle

We flier everywhere and get the on campus television to run free ads for us!

8:20
Comment From Devin (SUNY Albany)

Tabling is a big one for us. Also, we sold those rubber bracelets on campus and they were a huge hit and got us a lot of attention. Facebook has been hugely helpful as well.

8:20
Comment From James McDonald

We just recieved aproval this morning to send a mass email to all students using our “Blackboard” system as well as posting it directly on the schools website. We will also be placing fliers in every classroom on campus

8:21
Comment From Thomas

We can set up posters around campus, right?

8:21
James, of course you can! We have posters that we can send you as well. Include tear offs on the bottom of all posters with your contact information, so students can call/email you directly.
8:22
To get Autism Speaks U posters, emailautismspeaksu@autismspeaks.org with your mailing address.
8:22
Comment From Kara

We bought ping pong balls in bulk and some blue sharpies, and drew puzzle pieces or wrote “Autism Speaks U” or “1 in 110″ on them to spread the word. We also use Facebook and flyers a lot.

8:22
Comment From Grace Kim

we are planning on having the director of campus affairs email the whole school about autism speaks u

8:22
Comment From Caroline (UC Berkeley)

Depends on your campus rules (in regards to posting fliers)

8:22
Comment From Emily

We wear our Autism Speaks U t-shirts to campus the day of our meetings and make announcements at the beginning of class.

8:23
Comment From Chris

Where can materials for tables form Autism Speaks U be requested at?

8:23
Chris, email autismspeaksu@autismspeaks.org - Include your mailing address, school and how you’d like to get involved!
8:24
Now for our last topic…. getting funding for events. And then we’ll open it up to Q&A.
8:24
Comment From Sindia

I like the ping pong ball idea!

8:24
Sindia, we do too!
8:24
Comment From Thomas Lloyd

I support Sindia’s idea.

8:24
If your school offers funding for on-campus clubs or events, contact your Student Government Association to see what paperwork needs to be filled out. Note that they generally have deadlines on when you can apply so check into this well in advance.
8:24
If your school does not offer club funding, here’s a few other options.
8:25
Contact your alumni association and send an email out to all members requesting they support your event’s efforts. Alumni love to see students from their alma mater give back!
8:25
Do you know how to contact members of your alumni association?
Yes

 ( 33% )

No

 ( 67% )
8:26
For those that answered no, visit your school’s Student Activities Office and they’ll direct you to the right person.
8:26
You can also ask local and corporate businesses to sponsor your event.
8:26
Download our event sponsorship guide athttp://bit.ly/sponsorguide. it offers a ton of tips and resources that you can send out to local businesses.
8:27
Remember to be creative with how people and businesses can partner with your events (whether the donation goes to event expenses or back to Autism Speaks).
8:27
For example, last April, a group of students received a challenge match from an alumna. He offered to donate $1,000 to Autism Speaks, if they could get 100 people to attend their event.
8:27
Other alumna offer to match donations that the event raises (i.e. event raises $2,000 and the alumna matches it with another $2,000).
8:27
Comment From Devin (SUNY Albany)

A lot of businesses are usually willing to help out with any events you may be planning. Even if they just donate gift cards or something small you can use them for raffles prizes, etc

8:28
How have you secured sponsors for your events? Or how are you planning to contact potential sponsors?
8:29
Comment From Devin (SUNY Albany)

Sponsorship packet

8:30
Comment From Thomas Lloyd

Posterboard in student lobby

8:30
Comment From Emily

We contacted a local restaurant and they offered to pay for our event t-shirts as long as we put their logo on the back of the shirt.

8:30
Comment From James McDonald

We have contacted several local businesses who have agreed to help with drinks, food for our events as well as donating raffle items. As a business owner myself it was easier to contact other business owners in my area.

8:30
Comment From Sindia

I am area that major restaurant chains are willing to do nights where they will give a certain percentage of a persons bill back to an organization or charity.

8:31
Yes, places like Pinkberry, Applebees, Qdoba, Fridays, 99 Restaurant, Chick-fil-A, Chilis are examples pf places that students have done dine-in nights in the past
8:32
A student recently did one at Starbucks too! Since Monday nights are slower, anything they raised more than average, they gave 50% back to the Autism Speaks U chapter.
8:32
Comment From Emily

Cheesecake Factory, PF Changs and Dunkin Donuts have always donated to our events also.

8:33
Comment From Hailey

I used to work in non-profit management, and we had a fundraising breakfast using the Benevon model, and we had a bunch of our members invite 10 guests to have breakfast, then there’s a speaker who talks about the cause, and then there’s an “ask” at the end. The ballroom we hosted it in donated space, and the food was extremely discounted for the cause. Do you think that’d work for a student organization as well?

8:34
Sure! Especially if you can get a speaker that students want to come out and hear. Even making it an all-you-can eat pancake breakfast or burger/fries helps appeal to college students on a budget.
8:35
Comment From Thomas Lloyd

Will any restaurant chains in Round Rock support Autism Speaks U as well?

8:36
I’m sure! Start by contacting chains and restaurants on campus or nearby and see if they’ll give a percentage back to Autism Speaks, or offer a special of the day.
8:36
Businesses want to get college students in the door, so leverage that!
8:36
Comment From James McDonald

Johny Carino’s is a statewide sponsor here in Texas for Autism Speaks. We are in the process of talking to them about Autism Speaks U as well

8:37
Comment From James McDonald

I have worked with them when we do our Walk Now for Autism Speaks in April. They are always willing to lend a helping hand when it comes to charity

8:37
In regards to funding for events, student can also participate in our “GO BLUE for Autism Speaks U” Facebook photo contest. Deck out in blue, submit a photo, and get friends and family to like the photo. Top 3 photos win marketing grants for their next Autism Speaks U event.
8:37
Get contest details at http://bit.ly/gobluedetails
8:38
See how Autism Speaks U at UC Berkeley went blue! Get creative and send us your photo!
8:38

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Autism Speaks U chapter at UC Berkeley gather together to GO BLUE!
8:38
Comment From Caroline (UC Berkeley)

When you say marketing grants, what exactly do you mean? Would we have to use the money specifically for marketing?

8:38
The grants go toward event expenses for your next Autism Speaks U event.
8:39
Expenses can include marketing, logistics, supplies, etc.
8:39
Comment From Caroline (UC Berkeley)

Okay!

8:39
Will you submit a photo for our “GO BLUE” Facebook photo contest?
Yes

 ( 71% )

No

 ( 14% )

I already have

 ( 14% )
8:40
Deadline to submit photos is Friday, October 14. We encourage you to send them in as early as possible, so you can have friends and family “like” and comment on the picture(s).
8:41
Contest details at http://bit.ly/gobluedetails
8:41
Now on to Q&A… Feel free to ask questions about what we discussed or about the Autism Speaks U program in general.
8:41
Students are encouraged to answer each others questions as well!
8:41
Comment From Guest

The business I worked at last year let me do the puzzle peices for 1.00 I no longer work there. any suggestions on how to raise money for the walk in may 2012

8:43
You can still sell the puzzle pieces on campus to students and to local businesses. Other fundraising ideas include bake sales, dine-in nights, loose change campaigns.
8:43
And even asking students to contact their families and networks to donate online!
8:43
Comment From Hailey

Amanda (also in this chat) and I are thinking about starting a chapter at Eastern Michigan University. Besides filing the appropriate paperwork, what else is involved in starting a chapter?

8:44
Please review the 8 steps to creating a chapter document athttp://bit.ly/nj2yhw. This explains everything that needs to be completed on our end.
8:45
Your school might have other requirements, so contact the Student Activities Office.
8:46
Comment From James McDonald

starting a chapter is easier then renewing your drivers license!

8:46
Comment From Sindia

In response to Hailey’s question: I just started a new chapter on the staten island campus of St john’s University. Aside from the paper work needed from Autism Speaks U, you will need to get approval from your campus’ student organization

8:46
Comment From Hailey

Thank you!

8:46
Comment From Sindia

The process can take quite some time on the schools behalf.

8:46
Comment From Thomas Lloyd

Is Student Activities another name for Student Life? Because at ACC, we call it student life.

8:47
Yes at some schools!
8:47
Comment From Hailey

What is the benefit to the university to have a chapter on campus? We will be asking one of our faculty members to advise our chapter and would like to know what the university might gain from having a chapter with Autism Speaks, versus another autism organization?

8:47
Download our chapter guidebook at http://bit.ly/chapterguidebookand refer to page 6.
8:48
If you have more specific questions, send us an email atautismspeaksu@autismspeaks.org and we’ll brainstorm some ideas with you!
8:48
Comment From Amanda

How do you go about funding? Would you need a separate bank account?

8:49
Sometimes the school will ask you to create a bank account for your organization, but again, that depends on the school. There also might be a minimum amount you need to put into the account to start one (i.e. $50, $75, etc.)
8:49
Comment From Thomas Lloyd

Mr. McDonald. I am 19 years old and I have Aspergers. I’m trying to start a chapter at ACC in round rock. Can I contact you for questions. If so, how?

8:49
Comment From James McDonald

alot of schools will setup an account for your chapter with the business office. All you have to do is ask

8:50
Comment From Sindia

But once you get approval and get the ball rolling its all up to you!

8:51
Thomas, send us an email at autismspeaksu@autismspeaks.organd we’ll connect you with James at Cisco College!
8:51
Comment From Michelle

Where can we order Autism Speaks U shirts?

8:52
Students can order Autism Speaks U shirts athttp://bit.ly/asugetgear. You can also customize the front and back of them. They are really affordable ranging from $4-$10.
8:53
Comment From Michelle

To students who have started a chapter, I’m new at this, what has been your biggest challenge so far?

8:54
Comment From Devin (SUNY Albany)

for our chapter, it was just getting it off the ground in the 1st place. Our school has a lot of red tape when it comes to new clubs and promoting. We found it was best to be persistent

8:55
Comment From James McDonald

I think the biggest challenge so far for me has been “ok, What next”… Everything is a challenge for me as we are a small community college with locations 75 miles away from each other. Finding recruits, fundraising is the easy part. Getting everything organized for the first yr has been my toughest challenge because we are technically “the new group” on campus

8:55
Comment From Kara

I think our biggest challenge has been getting the word out since our chapter is fairly new too. But we’ve been attending our involvement fairs and making sure to pass out flyers and make announcements before classes

8:56
Comment From Emily

We have so many great ideas but executing them can be difficult. Which is why having a strong executive board is important, so that we can delegate responsibilities.

8:56
Comment From Patty

I want to try to start a chapter at my school. Is it hard to get people involved and join the club? I’d assume it takes a few people just to get it started..

8:58
All it takes is a few students, have them reach out to their friends and you’re off! Also, in our chapter guidebook on pages 7-8 we offer recruitment ideas. Download it athttp://bit.ly/chapterguidebook
8:58
Comment From James McDonald

Thankfully serving on the committee for West Texas Autism Speaks has helped me in tremendous ways because i am use to the funraising and sponsorship atmosphere. I’m sure it can be a little overwhelming at first but having a positive attitude and selecting a great e-board has helped so much

8:58
Comment From Molly

Patty- we are a brand new chapter, just got approval a few weeks ago. It’ll take a little work, but you’ll be surprised how many people will be interested once you get your name out there!

8:58
Comment From Devin (SUNY Albany)

It only took us a small number of people to start but once we started tabling and getting the word out a lot of students approached us.

8:58
Comment From Patty

thanks!

8:59
We would like to thank all of you for participating in our Autism Speaks U Q&A! It’s fantastic to see college students so involved in raising awareness and advocating for the autism community.
8:59
If we didn’t get to your question or you have a few more, email us at autismspeaksu@autismspeaks.org.
8:59
Please be sure to check out www.AutismSpeaks.org/U for more information!
8:59
Have a great rest of the night!
9:00
Comment From Devin (SUNY Albany)

Thanks! You too!

9:00
Comment From Kara

Thanks!

9:01
Comment From Emily

You guys are awesome! Thanks!

9:02
Comment From Patty

you too! thanks :)


Watch the “Autism in Academia” Live Video Chat!

September 13, 2011 2 comments

More and more young adults on the autism spectrum are looking forward to higher education. Login to CollegeWeekLive tomorrow at 4pm EST to watch “Autism in Academia” featuring Lisa Jo Rudy. Learn how to prepare for the college experience, where to find autism-friendly colleges, and how to access special needs services at the school of your choice.

Lisa Jo Rudy is a professional writer and works with museums, community organizations and families to build access, inclusion and opportunities for people affected by autism. Lisa is also the mother of a fifteen-year-old son with autism and will be speaking at CollegeWeekLive’s Diversity Day.

“Autism in Academia” is part of a larger program called Diversity Day. Admissions reps in charge of diversity and multicultural recruitment from 40 universities across the country will chat live with students of all race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, or disability to address the unique opportunities available on their campuses.

Sign-up now. It’s free and easy. CollegeWeekLive will also giving away a $1,000 scholarship!

To get involved with Autism Speaks college program, visit www.autismspeaks.org/U. Autism Speaks U designed for college students who want to host events, start chapters, volunteer and/or become campus ambassadors! 

College Students To Host Vintage Clothes Fundraiser for Autism Speaks

July 29, 2011 4 comments

This blog post was written by Alexandra Lewisohn and Maressa Criscito, the co-founders of the Autism Speaks U Chapter at the University of Michigan. Their Autism Speaks U chapter is dedicated to raising awareness and funds on campus and in the community. To get involved in our college program, visit www.autismspeaks.org/U.

On August 1, 2011 from 5-10 PM at 45 East 34th Street, 3rd floor in New York City, The Vintage Twin will be holding a trunk show event, where 10% of all proceeds will be donated to Autism Speaks. The Autism Speaks U Chapter at the University of Michigan is helping to organize this event and invite you to come out, shop and support Autism Speaks!

With a store run by stylists, The Vintage Twin treats shopping as a service and style as yours, allowing people of all colors, ages, and sizes to enjoy one-of-a-kind hand-picked, remodeled, and original designs. In line with its modernized products, The Vintage Twin is a footprint-free and socially responsible company.

Come join The Vintage Twin’s show, buy some fabulous one of a kind items, and help raise funds for Autism Speaks!

For more information about Autism Speaks U at the University of Michigan, visit our Facebook page to keep updated about future fundraising, volunteering, and advocacy events!

The Mean Things People Say

April 25, 2011 60 comments

This guest post is by Autism Speaks staffer Kerry Magro. Kerry, an adult who has autism, is a rising senior at Seton Hall University, majoring in Sports Management. He started the club Student Disability Awareness on campus to help spread awareness and raise funds for those affected by autism. Autism Speaks U is a program designed for college students who host awareness, advocacy and fundraising events, while supporting their local autism communities.

In the past, I’ve blogged about my own experiences and then tips to overall help individuals on the spectrum. For this post, however, I am looking for your thoughts and tips on a subject that I’m not sure there is a clear cut answer to.

Here’s the scenario: quite recently, I was with a group of friends hanging out when a mutual friend who was under the influence of alcohol started to become belligerent. He was clearly upset about something and decided to storm off. After several of our friends were trying to calm him down and make him come back to the group he called me out for being autistic in a negative connotation; like being autistic is a bad thing. He said, “Shut up Kerry, You’re autistic!” For some reason this remark just bounced off me, but after that experience I haven’t forgiven this individual or shared the story of what happened with anyone else.

It’s difficult sometimes to understand why people can be so mean. A few weeks before that situation, I was on my way to an event with a peer when I called, “shotgun” so I could sit in the front side passenger seat. My peer replied, “Sure, Kerry has that DSS hook-up right there.” In context DSS means Disability Support Services at the college I attend and this was in reference to getting accommodations for being registered as a DSS student. So I guess the question I have for those reading is…

“When did you first feel comfortable addressing comments either positive or negative people make about you or a loved one on the spectrum?”

I know this may seem like a very broad question but in my experience as an individual on the spectrum I’ve always had a tough time communicating the issue to others, especially when I was younger. Now at the age of 23 I have spoken at several events about the issue and can go up to anyone and speak my piece in a non-threatening way to make those aware of what’s right from wrong. The first time I can remember ever speaking up for myself was when I was 13. One of my classmates and I were having a conversation about disabilities and I mentioned that I was autistic. Almost instantly he said, “No you’re not, you can talk!”  I came back and said, “It’s different for different individuals” and then went for the rest of the class period almost discussing things such as high functioning/low functioning autism, the signs, the causes, etc.

At the end of the day, I know that I’ll fight in most scenarios to make individuals aware not only for myself but so other individuals don’t have to deal with similar cases. As a community here at Autism Speaks, I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Please leave your comments below. Thank you.

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