An employment success story from an Autism Speaks grantee

July 11, 2019
taking the lead

Check out this update from one of our recent grantees, Taking the Lead in Maryland! We are accepting applications from service providers across the country to our Norma and Malcolm Baker Recreation program through August!

Learn more and apply for an Autism Speaks grant here.

"I just wanted to thank Autism Speaks for the grant that was given to Taking the Lead.  Because of this grant, we created our vocational program that is teaching people with autism how to train and groom dogs. This is our first success story from one of our clients and I wanted to share it with you and your organization (please see below).  He just landed his first job in a dog related field.  So thank you for helping us to make a difference in someone's life."

Dear Chelsea,

Thank you very much for your kind words. I have some really good news which is that following a few successful shadowing days, I’ve gotten a job and start tomorrow. I know that I have to work really hard to continue to earn their trust in me and I am looking forward to it. Other than starting on Tuesday, I’m not sure going forward as to what my schedule is. I have a feeling that I will be working there also on Wednesday but I will confirm that when I know for sure. Thank you for your questions and I have tried to think about suggestions for you. I have really appreciated the opportunity to participate in Taking The Lead because being a part of the program gave me not only a cementing of the confidence in my choice to pursue a job in the animal care field, but also the confidence I needed to get out there and go for internships/ a job in the field. I also think the program helped a lot by giving me an insight into the responsibilities of the job and what the work conditions entail. I want to thank you, your parents, Doris, Libby, and of course Megan and Danielle for all the help, support, and encouragement. As far as suggestions for future Taking The Lead programs, I would say that it’s always a good idea to practice interviewing as much as possible and give the interviewee a chance to script and memorize his or her answers ahead of time. Practicing these answers with a friend or family member is a good thing to do as well. In my case, the employer wanted to know why I want to work with animals. She of course asked me to explain my experience with animals and it was really helpful for me to have a resume with details on that to show her. I also think it’s important to put in a resume all of the different things that a person has been involved (even if unrelated to a career with animals) because doing so gives the employer a much fuller idea of who you are. I think these two things may have helped me get this job. And so, now the hard work of keeping the job begins. I’ll keep you posted and please give my thanks to everyone in the program!



Autism Speaks does not provide medical or legal advice or services. Rather, Autism Speaks provides general information about autism as a service to the community. The information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. Autism Speaks has not validated and is not responsible for any information, events, or services provided by third parties. The views and opinions expressed in blogs on our website do not necessarily reflect the views of Autism Speaks.

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