Help break down the barriers to career and college success for youth with autism! Your gift will support IU’s ongoing commitment to creating more diverse and inclusive communities in Indiana and beyond.
Mihaela lived her first two years of life in a Romanian orphanage, followed by two years in a foster home. At the age of four, she was adopted by an Indiana couple who said they knew something was different about her. Soon, they learned Mihaela had developed a form of autism.
The sensory and communication differences associated with autism – on top of a language barrier and a sometimes-inflexible education system – made school a struggle for Mihaela. As a teen, she attended our free Camp Yes And program for two summers and went on to become one of our first Counselors in Training, working with our staff to support youth with autism at camp.
After graduating from high school, Mihaela went into training to become a certified nursing assistant, and she recently passed the CNA exam. She credits Camp Yes And as a significant factor in her success, and we’re pretty proud of that.
Since 2015, Camp Yes And has provided communication and social skills instruction to teens on the autism spectrum. Research tells us these skills are key to helping the more than 50% of youth with autism who don’t participate in post-secondary education and careers.
We scale our impact by making our theater programs like Camp Yes And a professional learning opportunity for teachers. Studies show that many teachers don’t feel confident in their ability to teach students with autism. We aim to change that reality, and we’re so encouraged when teachers say things like, “Several times this week, I found myself wishing I was more like them.” That’s the power of Camp and IU’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion. Your gift will help us to continue breaking down barriers for people like Mihaela and her teachers. Learn more at yesand.indiana.edu.
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