This guest post is written by Victoria Cid, founder and president of the Autism Speaks U at California State University-Fullerton. The collegiate chapter was established in October 2011 and its members are working hard to create a long lasting legacy on campus.
As founder and president of Autism Speaks U Cal State Fullerton (CSUF), I now bleed blue. I am a fourth year student studying communicative disorders. Besides pertaining to my education, autism touches me in on extremely personal level. Having a nephew on the autism spectrum, I felt the need to get the word out about who the real “Jacob” is. He is not “autistic”. He is a boy with autism, whom needs special adjustments at times. This is what led me to organize a chapter at CSUF. It is our mission as Fullerton Titans to spread the word about autism and help those on the autism spectrum.
What makes our campus so unique is the immense support we receive from our school. It was wonderful to be given approval to light up the Titan Student Union building blue not only on April 2, but for the entire month of April in honor of Autism Awareness month. The department of Special Education saw the importance of this campaign and helped purchase all the light bulbs. We received a large amount of inquiries about the purpose behind the color blue, in which we educated many on what autism is. Thus, Light It Up Blue at CSUF successfully “shined a light” on autism.
We had an amazing second semester with events such as restaurant week, “Bowling for Autism,” and a discussion panel, just to name a few. As a student run organization, our goal is to raise awareness and funding for autism research through every event. In the upcoming year, we are very excited to be working with the Disabled Student Service (DSS) center to implement a new program called Peer Assistance College Support (P.A.C.S.) in which members of Autism Speaks U will be a “new friend” to a student from the DSS center. This is crucial to the future of our chapter as part of our mission is to help our peers on the spectrum.
By educating the campus about autism, helping raise funds for Autism Speaks and easing the transition into college for those on the spectrum, all CSUF Titans are becoming autism advocates!
To stay informed about Autism Speaks U California State University-Fullerton’s meetings, events and chapter news, connect with the group on Facebook.