Pictured above: Marice (left) a PSCA intern and Dr. Molly Losh, the Jane and Michael Hoffman Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University.
10 Years, 10 Triumphs
Triumph 9: Night of Too Many Stars Brings Project SEARCH Collaborates for Autism
to Have Dreams and Northwestern University
Thanks to a grant provided by Comedy Central’s Night of Too Many Stars and the Train our Teens initiative, NYCA was able to bring Project SEARCH Collaborates for Autism (PSCA) to Have Dreams and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The grant enables Have Dreams and Northwestern to partner in delivering internship opportunities to individuals with autism participating in the PSCA program. These internships offer training and practical work experience to high school seniors on the spectrum in order to successfully transition into meaningful full-time employment after graduation.
Dr. Molly Losh, the Jane and Michael Hoffman Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University, has recently begun working with Marice, an intern in the PSCA program. Marice works in Dr. Losh’s research lab, the Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Laboratory at Northwestern University. Marice’s first job was to help prepare the lab’s annual newsletter, which will be mailed to participating families to let them know what the researchers are working on, and to provide updates on their research findings. Marice is currently working on computing demographic information to update a project’s database. According to Dr. Losh, “The plan is to give Marice various experiences to see what the best fit is for her in the lab.”
After only two weeks in the program, Dr. Losh sees the immense benefits of having Marice working in the laboratory. She explains that “every person with autism has strengths, and it seems as though Marice has a fantastic eye for detail… She’s really going to be providing invaluable assistance for the care of our data.”
While the partnership with Northwestern is still in its beginning phase, the benefits of this collaboration are evident. According to Dr. Losh, “We hope to provide a friendly environment for her to learn what it’s like to have a job where there’s support built in for her to succeed, but where she also has opportunities to encounter the regular sorts of challenges that are a part of any job.”
As NYCA approaches the close of our 10th anniversary celebration, we are proud to add the dissemination of PSCA to our list of 10 triumphs in autism. We would like to thank all of our Night of Too Many Stars supporters who make initiatives such as this possible.