Did you know that one in 54 young people are diagnosed with autism? This summer, students in our IMPACT program at Cody High School learned more about their fellow students with autism and organized a 1.54 mile awareness walk on the final day of the program.
IMPACT pairs students with DTE retirees and college peer mentors, and it provides job skills and career awareness during six weeks in the summer, with an emphasis on helping their community. During the first two years of the program, students worked on-site at Cody High School. Last year, the program went completely virtual. This summer, students worked virtually for three days, and met at a park across from the school on Thursdays to work together and complete their projects.
The Autism Awareness & Acceptance for All Walk brought together Cody students, their families, the Autism Alliance of Michigan, and our Energize Your Life team, who led warm-ups and handed out swag. Students also assembled backpacks for two classrooms that support kids who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, to welcome new students with supplies for a successful school year.
It was a great way to end a productive summer, which included planting flower beds outside the school, cleaning up debris and painting common areas. The students also made several improvements to the building entrance to welcome students back to in person learning. Improvements included creating an inspirational Kindness Rocks! garden, installing a solar entrance light and adding new logos on the walkway.
Please watch the video below for more about IMPACT.
The IMPACT program is funded through the DTE Foundation.