Dear Friends and Family of Autism Shifts and Artistas Café,
As we come to the end of 2018 and start a new year, we want to express how much we appreciate each of you! Today, one in 40 children are diagnosed with Autism, an estimated 45,000 right here in Tampa Bay, and thanks to you we’re helping to shift the outcome for those touched by Autism.
Highlights for this year include a focus on training/education so we can impact the 90% unemployment rate for adults on the spectrum:
- Providing training to young adults on the Autism Spectrum to become employment-ready. In addition to our Barista program, we started a Digital Media and Animation program.
- Hosting Connections events for our young adults so they can make social connections and hosting parent/caregiver workshops.
- Launching our Artistas Mobile Café enabling us to employ young adults with Autism and spread Autism awareness and education in the community.
- Personally, a highlight for me this year was watching one of our students, Ray, represent us on a live TV interview. When Ray started the
- Autism Shifts program, he had very little eye contact and social and communications challenges. But there was Ray, who described himself to be a glorified mute, eloquently representing us on TV.
We ask you to help more young adults like Ray connect to their passion and purpose by signing up for a monthly contribution. Major gifts are always welcome but any level you’re called to give is appreciated. You can make a difference with even just $10/month (the cost of 1 fast-food lunch).
We thank you for being part of our family and effort to make life a bit brighter and better for those in our Autism community. Please accept our blessings for you and your loved ones in 2019.