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Posts Tagged ‘autism university’

Call Me Kerry and Never Rain Man

January 3, 2012 8 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, and is actively involved with our college program. Autism Speaks U is an initiative designed to support college students in their awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts.

Do you know that I was once called Rain Man by a college peer? Wow. When I look back at the reason why anyone would say something like that I think of some of the stereotypes of autism. Some think people with autism lack social interaction and others think people with autism are good at math. In the 1988 movie Rain Man, Actor Dustin Hoffman plays a character that is autistic and shows he’s good with numbers but also lacks some communication skills. Because of the popularity of this movie and mainly because autism was still very unknown during the release of the movie it became, for better or for worse, a characterization of what autism could be.

But you know what the problem is here? I’m autistic and I’m nothing like Rain Man. I’m now an adult great with verbal communication, I’m not as good in math and the differences keep piling up. You see, autism is very broad. No one diagnosis is the same and therefore when we think of Rain Man we must think of Rain Man as ONLY Rain Man. He is one symbol of the countless symbols of real people out there that have autism. I think that’s what makes our autism community great. We all are unique in our own way and we all have the opportunity to have our “voices” heard. Sometimes that voice is not a verbal one, sometimes it is heard through our art or music or some other skill or talent we have or simply a smile at our family members. Each and every individual with autism is a new and unique symbol of what autism is today and will be for our future.

So in keeping with the future…

To those who are reading…

Don’t call me Rain Man. Call me Kerry.

Don’t think I’m bad at verbal communication, because in fact in my own way I’m great at communication and I’m getting a Master’s Degree in Strategic Communication to boot.

Don’t think I’ll be ready to help when it comes to numbers, because all I’m going to do is pass you a calculator.

AND, most importantly, just look at me as me. I’m Kerry and there is only one of me. Just like there is only one of you. Let’s embrace the fact that there will only be one Kerry Magro, just like there will only be one Rain Man. We write our own stories based on the biography of life which we are all living through right now. Let’s make sure the chapters we’re writing are good ones, by living it just the way we are.

So please call me Kerry the next time you see me, because that is someone who I  was always meant to be.

I just started a new video blog called “My Autism My Voice,” and this is one of the topics I discuss. Click here for more information. 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.

The Power of a Positive Attitude

December 12, 2011 2 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, and is actively involved with our college program. Autism Speaks U is an initiative designed to support college students in their awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts.

One of the greatest lessons I ever learned in college was the ability to lead through, “The Power of a Positive Attitude.” When I was growing up it was always difficult for me to commit to things, always hard for me to get to that next level. A big part of that was based on my attitude. I didn’t know it back then but I was blind from how my attitude was leading the direction of my life. I struggled so much back when I was a kid it was always tough for me to focus on what was needed to overcome those obstacles.

College did change me though. It made me understand the need to take my attitude that indeed dramatically changed in high school to another level again. This happened when I started to realize there’s a solution to everything. Indeed, some of these solutions are ever changing as our society evolves and gains more knowledge but like what my mom would always tell me, “there are no problems, just solutions.” This helped me tremendously. Whether it was was getting accommodations for classes or even finding a way for an individual with autism such as myself to get a masters degree in strategic communication, the solution was there for me to find.

For all those reading what I hope you take from this is that even though there is a great deal of uncertainty out there involving autism that you understand we must continue to push positivity in everything we do. There are answers out there to help our loved ones succeed, autistic or not. Getting down on ourselves will help no one in our pursuits for a better tomorrow. Our community is in desperate need of this. I know this might be harder for some but for those individuals I ask that you make an effort to lose yourself in your passions to make a difference for yourself and the lives of others.

Tell yourself, there are ways to improve my life. There are ways to help my loved ones. Make these your mantra. We spend so much time sometimes saying what we don’t have, what services we can’t find, what diagnosis’s we can’t get, that we don’t appreciate what we have today. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Live your life with no more problems but instead strive to find the solutions. And if you can, do it with a smile. It can make a world of difference. It did for me.

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.

Get College Students Involved with Autism Speaks U!

November 28, 2011 5 comments

Are you a college student? Do you want to raise awareness about autism while gaining volunteer hours and experience for your resume? If so, join our team at Autism Speaks U to recruit students on your campus to host events benefiting our cause and to start a collegiate chapter. Become a Campus Ambassador at any college! You do not have to be close to an Autism Speaks office. It requires a time commitment of 3-5 hours per week for 3 months during the school year.

Watch our video below and click here for more information.

Autism Speaks U is a program designed to support college students in their awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts. If you are interested in raising awareness on your college campus, visit www.AutismSpeaks.org/U.

Autism Speaks U Spotlight: Cornell University Chapter President

October 18, 2011 1 comment

This guest post is by Cynthia Vella, a junior at Cornell University. She is an Industrial and Labor Relations major as well as the founder and president of her school’s Autism Speaks U chapter! Autism Speaks U is a program designed for college students who host awareness, advocacy and fundraising events, while supporting their local autism communities.

As President and Founder of Autism Speaks U at Cornell University, I feel strongly attached to the goals and values of our newly established club. With an uncle who is autistic, I have heard the struggles my mother and her family went through years ago.

Because of this, I decided Cornell needed to spread awareness about autism to it’s own students. Gathering a few friends and meeting two more great board members along the way, the Autism Speaks U Cornell board has really come together to raise money and especially awareness around campus. Our university organizations have even reached out to help us promote our cause through various student organizations like Greek sororities, fraternities and Hillel. In our second semester on campus, we have expanded our club’s initiatives and are planning a Dance-a-Thon called Dance Now for Autism Speaks U, which we hope will have a huge impact on Cornell.

Members of Autism Speaks U Cornell University tabling to raise awareness.

While last semester was extremely successful, from earning funds through bake sales and through Greek life and Hillel events, this semester, the Autism Speaks U Cornell board has much planned to increase our presence on campus. While bake sales are always easy and fun fundraisers, we plan on holding our first annual Dance-a-Thon on October 22nd in one of our basketball courts with pre-sale tickets, refreshments, cookies, blue decorations, and giveaway t-shirts.

We are currently marketing the event around both the campus and Ithaca community through our school newspaper, media site, flyers and posters. We are also tabling at local dining halls and main libraries where there is a large traffic of students and faculty passing through. We want to reach out to different clubs such as A Cappella and dance groups.

Additionally, one of our board members, Conor Callahan, has teamed up with the Racker Center located in nearby Ithaca for our members to interact with local children affected by autism. We are excited to have this opportunity and plan to start doing smaller events like slumber parties in the spring semester. As our club continues expanding with almost 30 new members this fall, we have more and more great ideas to make the club more successful in our endeavors. New leaders stand out and our board welcomes more students to help raise funds and awareness. We are extremely excited to collaborate with our new members to make a difference in our community.

For more information about Autism Speaks U at Cornell University, contact the chapter president Cynthia Vella at autismspeaksucornell@gmail.com.

What Autism Means to Me: Natalie Davis

October 3, 2011 13 comments

This guest post is by Natalie Davis, a senior at St. Olaf College in Minnesota majoring in chemistry. Natalie serves as Miss Minnesota 2011 and has adopted autism awareness as her pageant’s service platform.  

As I am sure is the case for most people who are touched by autism, I have always seen my disposition as the sibling of someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as both a blessing and a curse. When I was a child, I knew my brother Trevor was different. He spent hours silently lining up toy cars into perfect rows instead of playing with other kids. He didn’t speak until he was 3, and he couldn’t produce a full sentence until he was 7. Trevor seemed to be in his own little world, but he and I were connected.

Natalie and her brother, Trevor

Even though Trevor couldn’t speak, I always knew what he needed. I was constantly on high alert regarding his emotions and any environmental factors that might upset him. For as long as I can remember, I have been his helper and protector. When kids bullied him, I quickly tried to explain, “He’s special ed.,” hoping they would have mercy. When he threw tantrums because he didn’t want to do his schoolwork, I slyly suggested a game of “tutor” instead. I helped him cover his ears when the sound of a fire truck was too much for him to bear.

Things have always been harder for Trevor. I went to a prestigious private school; Trevor was in public school in special education. I was invited to countless birthday parties; Trevor wasn’t invited to any. I was the star. I was the pageant queen, singer, athlete, and brilliant student. I seemed to have it all, but I had a brother who struggled.

Growing up with a brother who has ASD has not been easy. But when things get tough, my parents remind me to count my blessings. Despite his challenges, Trevor graduated from high school in the top 50% of his class, and he is currently a part-time student at St. Cloud State University. He plays piano, he is an excellent public speaker, and he is an Eagle Scout. His dream is to become a best-selling children’s book author. Just because Trevor is different does not mean that he is less. Yes, he faces challenges that most individuals never have to face, but the fact that he has continually overcome many those challenges makes Trevor extraordinary.

Autism Speaks U is a program designed for college students who host awareness, advocacy and fundraising events, while supporting their local autism communities.If you are interested in raising awareness on your college campus visit www.AutismSpeaks.org/U.

Autism Speaks U Spotlight: UC Berkeley Chapter President

September 26, 2011 2 comments

This guest post is by Caroline McCloskey, a sophomore at UC Berkeley. She is the president and founder of her school’s Autism Speaks U chapter and is a true ambassador for our cause! Autism Speaks U is a program designed for college students who host awareness, advocacy and fundraising events, while supporting their local autism communities.

Helping those with autism has always held a place in my heart. My older brother Joey was diagnosed with autism at a very young age, and has always been my big “little brother.” Joey has a considerably severe case of autism and is often misunderstood because he has difficulty communicating with others. He lives in the world of a six-year old and still watches Disney movies (his favorite being Peter Pan), Sesame Street and Winnie the Pooh.  One of the truly amazing things about my brother is his ability to complete a 500-piece puzzle in twenty minutes – something I would never be able to do. He will never fail to impress me with his unique gift and now that I’ve gone to college and live 6000 miles away from home, I miss him dearly.

Caroline hikes to the big Campanile to raise autism awareness.

Coming to the University of California, Berkeley was by far the best decision I have ever made. As soon as I got here I knew that I wanted to get involved on campus, so I looked into various student organizations and tried to find one that promoted autism awareness or raised money for scientific research. No such club or organization existed. I thought to myself: of all the hundreds of student organizations that Berkeley has to offer, how is it that not a single one addresses the problem of autism, something that affects 1 in 110 people?

Consequently, some friends and I took the initiative and our chapter of Autism Speaks U at Berkeley was officially founded on March 9th2011. Now we have over 30 active members and have begun to establish a firm presence on campus as of this academic year. The UC Berkeley community has been very supportive of our efforts and during Autism Awareness Month this year we held an awareness campaign and small-scale fundraiser in the Unit 2 Residence Halls. Our biggest achievement so far has been lighting up the Campanile blue on Autism Awareness Day, which we hope to do again in April 2012.

Campanile Lit Up Blue.

Right now we are in the process of planning a benefit concert to be held on November 19, of this year. We are also trying to establish a mentoring program with the Berkeley Unified School District, where members of our chapter would volunteer with children and young adults on the spectrum. Furthermore, we are in the early phases of planning a large-scale walk event on UC Berkeley’s campus, which will be held on April 72012, during Autism Awareness Month.

This year we have a very strong team of officers who are all contributing incredible amounts of time and effort to our cause. It means so much to me that my friends have been so supportive of what I am so passionate about, and I honestly appreciate their help and support more than they will ever know. I know that this year we’re going to go far and it’s all because of them: thank you, guys.

To get involved with Autism Speaks U and/or the UC Berkeley collegiate chapter, contact autismspeaksu@autismspeaks.org.  

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

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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

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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 :)


LIVE Facebook Q&A for College Students!

September 19, 2011 Leave a comment

The Autism Speaks U team will be hosting a LIVE Facebook Q&A for our chapters and student leaders this Wednesday, September 21 at 8pm EST/5pm PST.

To join the chat, click here 

This is the perfect time for Autism Speaks U newbies or veterans to ask our team questions about the program, what awareness and fundraising events to host in Fall and how to start/maintain a chapter.

We look forward to chatting with you!

To see how you can get involved with the program, visit www.AutismSpeaks.org/U.

Autism Speaks U Spotlight – Saint Mary’s College

September 27, 2010 1 comment

This guest post is by Allison Drake, the president and founder of the Autism Speaks U Chapter at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She is a senior Communicative Disorders major and plans on becoming a speech pathologist working with individuals on the spectrum. Autism Speaks U is a program designed for college students who host awareness, advocacy and fundraising events, while supporting their local autism communities.

My desire to help the student population on campus comes directly from my family. My youngest brother T.J. was diagnosed with autism at the age of six. Growing up he faced many difficulties academically and socially because of it. Since his diagnosis he has come such a long way, and I truly believe that children on the spectrum can improve dramatically with proper support and guidance. However, we as a country have not come close to funding enough research to help support and guide the almost 4 million children born with autism every year. Autism Speaks is an organization that stands for what I believe in; providing education and funds for research to help those affected by autism.

 

The Autism Speaks U Saint Mary’s Chapter sporting the sunglasses that they sold at one of their fundraisers.

 

It is for this reason, that I decided to start an Autism Speaks U Chapter at Saint Mary’s during the Fall semester of 2010. With majors like Communicative Disorders, Psychology and Education, Saint Mary’s was lacking an organization that supported a population many of us will be working with in the future; that’s where Autism Speaks U comes in. Our goal as a chapter this year is to raise funds to support the national organization at Autism Speaks.

We are currently in the process of planning a walk on Saint Mary’s campus to occur during Autism Awareness month in April 2011. We are going to work hard to include the local community, by means of reaching out to the local Autism Center in South Bend.Since  Saint Mary’s is right across the street from the University of Notre Dame, so we have reached out to Notre Dame for additional support. They also happen to have classes and research labs dedicated to autism studies. With the support of the local community and the University of Notre Dame, we are expecting our first walk to be quite a success.

We are currently hosting two popular fundraisers on campus. We started selling autism puzzle piece silly bandz for $1 each, and have raised almost $200 in two weeks. We also ordered sunglasses in neon green that promote our Autism Speaks U Chapter for the girls to purchase and wear at the Notre Dame football games and around campus. I have been fortunate to have a great team of officers who have helped me do everything. We wouldn’t be where we are without all of their help. Since school started, we have recruited almost 150 girls to be part of our chapter and have reached out to other clubs, such as the National Student Speech Hearing and Language Association, Saint Mary’s Education Club and Psi Chi which is the International Honor Society in Psychology. We are so excited to experience this much success so early on in the semester. I cannot wait to see the foundation we will leave at Saint Mary’s when I graduate in May.

If you’d like to support Allison’s fundraising efforts at Saint Mary’s College please click here.

If you are involved with Autism Speaks U on your campus and would like your story to be featured on the Autism Speaks blog, please send it to AutismSpeaksU@autismspeaks.org. Autism Speaks reserves the right to edit contributions for space, style and content. Because of the volume of submissions, not all can be published on the site.

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