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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 25,889
Location: Long Island, New York

27 Jul 2021, 4:09 pm

This American Dream shop is run by people with autism, and is already opening new doors

Students with autism are getting firsthand job experience running a pop-up store at the American Dream mall.

The students are from Secaucus-based Spectrum Works Inc., a nonprofit that provides job training and employment opportunities for high school students and other young adults with autism. At American Dream, they are selling T-shirts, sweatshirts and baby onesies in a wide variety of designs and colors from the pop-up shop, which will operate through Thursday.

The store is a first for Spectrum Works, and the hope is that it will bring more opportunities for the students.

“At American Dream, this is a different type of experience,” said Ann Marie Sullivan, CEO and founder of Spectrum Works. The students “get to interact with customers and with the public, and that’s where we can really start to move the needle for change.”

More than 7,000 items of new clothing were donated to Spectrum Works and are being sold at a discount, with 100% of the proceeds going to the nonprofit to expand opportunities, said Michael Giorgio, communications and business development manager for Spectrum Works.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman