Welcome to the final section of Cornerstone Autism Center's introduction to our ongoing mini-series "Cornerstone Reflections". During the beginning of this series we introduce five undergraduate students from Purdue University interning at Cornerstone as ABA therapists and learning all about autism.
For these five students, they must participate in an internship before graduating from Purdue University. Every semester Cornrestone comes to Purdue's campus and speaks to students about autism, the various trainings to serve children with autism, and help students prepare for life after the graduate. Cornerstone also accepts a hand full of students to intern at the center and learn what it's like to work directly with the autism comunity. Many go on and become ful time staff at one either the Greenwood or West Lafayette centers.
Undergraduate Thomas Brown is our last intern to introduce himself and tell us why he chose to conduct his internship at Cornerstone Autism Center.
Jarrad: Hi Thomas. So, to kick this off, can you tell me what majors and minors you’re receiving from Purdue?
Thomas: I hope to have earned my major in Human services by May.
Jarrad: Did you know when you started at Purdue that Human Services was going to be that path that called to you?
Thomas: I actually walked into Purdue as an aspiring high school teacher! However, by my fourth year I decided to make the switch and pursue a degree in HHS.
Jarrad: That’s great to know. Where are you from?
Thomas: I graduated from Merrillville high school.
Jarrad: Do you have any siblings?
Thomas: I have one brother who works currently at Purdue.
Jarrad: Do you have anyone (Family, friends, etc.) close to you that are on the autism spectrum?
Thomas: Three of my girlfriend's siblings are on the spectrum.
Jarrad: Really? So, why did you want to work with children who have autism?
Thomas: The work is meaningful. It's a place that I feel a real measurable difference can be made in people's lives.
Jarrad: You chose to do your internship at Cornerstone over other organizations that serve children with autism. Why?
Thomas: During the interview process Cornerstone seemed like it had the best staff and environment.
Jarrad: What were your initial feelings of starting your internship?
Thomas: At times I feel a little overwhelmed. The effort that goes in to every second of everyday can be a lot, but I feel confident in my training.
Jarrad: This is one of my favorite questions I’ve been asking all the interns. When you’re not studying, working, and interning what is that thing you are most likely doing?
Thomas: Spending time with my friends. With how busy everything has been lately there hasn't been too much time for that though.
Jarrad Shaw graduated Purdue University in Human Services studying community & relationship building, & program implementation. Jarrad is seeking a full time role in public relations & community management. His current projects are growing & managing online content & community involvement for Cornerstone Autism Center, Cornerstone Autism Foundation, Caustic Ideas, & Entertainment Fuse. He handles several forms of web & blog content, and builds interpersonal relations with communities across various sites. Jarrad is continuously expanding his experience in the always evolving tech world & gaming industry. When Jarrad is not reading the latest trends in the social marketing sphere, he spends his time playing video games with friends & working on a new side project, producing electronica music for mobile gaming platforms. You can contact him by e-mail at: email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.