During my last semester in Notre Dame’s MBA program, I took a class called Community Partners, and my team of friends and I were paired with the autism center in South Bend, Indiana. We were tasked with developing a marketing communications plan to increase awareness for the Center for Autism in the Michiana area (man, I kind of miss saying Michiana) and with awareness, increased volunteer and monetary support. First, I needed to do research because I knew next to nothing about autism.
So, what is autism? Autism is a life-long developmental disability that affects a person’s ability to process sensory info and causes difficulties in developing communication skills, interpreting social relationships, and learning appropriate ways to relate to people, objects and events. Learn more here.
As thanks for our volunteer work, Martha McMillian, an active participant in the LOGAN Center (a community center that serves people with developmental disabilities and also operates the autism center), painted a watercolor of the Notre Dame campus for each of us. I love it, and it reminds me that no matter what our individual abilities or disabilities are, the talents we’ve perfected or the imperfections we acknowledge, or even our failed attempts (see: elementary school wrestling), each of us has the potential to make a unique contribution to the world of those around us. In big ways. In small ways. And ways that are uniquely yours.