With YPI, I was paired with partners Alexandra Skora and Amanda Liebmann, as we each shared a common interest in helping the disabled. We ultimately decided to focus on those affected by autism, considering that Amanda was close to a family with a child with autism, and also considering that my own younger brother has autism, himself. We decided on the organization YAI, helping the development of people with autism. While we didn’t make it through to the final round, I felt that the whole experience was rather new, eye-opening, and enjoyable. I am rather grateful for the opportunity as a whole.
While I do already know much about autism, there was still much information that I was unaware of prior to the project. The project helped me to research and discover this new information, changing my attitude towards the social issue. For instance, the specific statistic that one in sixty-eight children are diagnosed with autism. Last I had checked, the number wasn’t as severe, and the circumstances of the growing “epidemic” that is autism are slowly becoming more dire to me.
Communication skills were a huge facet of the project. For example, something as simple as working with my partners – whom I weren’t extremely familiar with beforehand – both challenged and improved my communication skills. Also, I found myself interviewing someone under legitimate circumstances for the first time in my life at the site visit, building on my communication skills. I found both of these experiences to be especially challenging. Additionally, we ran into some technical difficulties only a few days before our in-class presentations, causing us to lose most of our digital presentation. This was a big challenge which we were luckily able to overcome. In the end, seeing our presentation finished in its complete state was extremely rewarding.