For more than 68 years, AIESEC has worked to give youth an opportunity to create their own path in life; unshadowed by others. By targeting issues current in the world, namely the Sustainable Development Goals, AIESEC has remained relevant and a bottomless source of challenging opportunities to develop leadership in our youth. Today, in honor of National Autism Day, we’ll be sharing how you can create change in people’s lives’ who have autism through AIESEC.
“I believe that inside every person who is bullied there is a strength and a tenacity to survive. You don’t always know that this strength exists, but if you make it through those dark times, you become aware. You become a survivor, someone whose courage and spirit is far stronger than all of the hate and cruelty of their bullies. The one thing that I want to impart to children with autism is knowledge of their own inner strength, and the belief that one day at a time, they, too, can get through this.”
-Amy Gravino, an adult on the autism spectrum
Autism is extremely prevalent within the United States; estimated 1 in 68 children in the United States having autism, and over 70 million people worldwide. Although the United States is making great bounds towards aiding those with disabilities, there remains a negative social stigma against students and people with disabilities, children with autism certainly among those. As our nation not only becomes better equipped to diagnose and aid those with autism, the opportunity to succeed is also made available to people on the autism spectrum; although it is a much steeper hill to climb than for the rest of us. By actively learning more about autism, and to even go on an AIESEC exchange related to autism, you equip yourself with the tools to empower your local community to create positive change for people whose voices have been outspoken.
Amy Gravino, an autism consultant, a professional public speaker, a writer, and an advocate is such one person who has found this success despite the tremendous obstacles in her way, having both a business and Masters degree. As impressive as it is, I believe it is the true nature within everyone who has autism, that is a desire to overcome obstacles, that needs to be unlocked, and in return, these people will give to the world in a very bright and unique way.
AIESEC & Autism
AIESEC is a platform for leadership potential; naturally, there are experiences to directly influence the lives of children with autism as well as raise awareness. Because AIESEC operates internationally, if you hope to participate in an opportunity that deals with autism or otherwise, I advise you take action into matching to an opportunity immediately. If autism is something that you are deeply passionate about, you may be interested in ‘Brighten Your World’, Guangzhou, China.
‘Brighten Your World 4.0’ is a project powered by AIESEC in JNU, which collaborates with institutions to take care of children with autism, design cultural games, and expose them to culture aside from their own. Another key project of the volunteers’ while on the exchange is to spread awareness about autism through diverse social campaigns. Learn more by contacting: email@example.com or applying to the opportunity here.
‘Beautiful Mind’ is another project focused on children with autism based in Hồ Chí Minh, Việt Nam. Beautiful Mind focuses on teaching the children ‘soft skills’ as well as teaching them English-- and as is the case with ‘Brighten Your World 4.0’, you’d be exposing the children to various aspects of your culture and creating fun games to play with them. AIESEC in Hồ Chí Minh also adds that children of all backgrounds in Vietnam are often too scared to learn and practice English, which is of great expense to them later on in their careers. You may learn more by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org or by applying to the opportunity here.