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The Aspire Internship Program is designed to help adults with high cognitive autism spectrum disorder or a related profile navigate the various aspects of the work environment while gaining important on-the-job skills.
Watch program manager, Leslie O'Brien on "4 Your Community" on WBZ talking about the Internship Program with intern Jake Peters.
The Aspire Internship Program is designed to help adults with high cognitive autism spectrum disorder or a related profile navigate the various aspects of the work environment while gaining important on-the-job skills. Key program features include our Aspire career counselors and weekly seminars designed to optimize the internship experience.
GOALS OF INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
PARTICIPANTSParticipants are adults, aged 18 and over with high cognitive autism spectrum disorder or a related profile. These men and women have average and above average overall intellectual skills. Interns must be motivated to become independent. While participants can be skilled in various aspects of a job or task, they have challenges navigating the social world and understanding a work culture. Participants must have completed high school.
THE CAREER COUNSELORAspire’s highly trained and supportive career counselors help interns integrate into their work sites and navigate the various aspects of the work environment. Additionally, the career counselor supports the interns’ workplace supervisor through an initial workshop and ongoing consultation to guide best practices specific to each particular intern.
ON-GOING EDUCATION AND TRAININGAll interns meet at Aspire weekly to review their experiences and to receive on-going education on the skills needed to succeed in the workplace. This session will cover such topics as:
The program offers three sessions that take place during the fall, spring, and summer. Typically, interns are on the job site three days per week and at Aspire one day per week. At Aspire interns review their weekly internship experiences and receive on-going education on the soft and hard skills needed to succeed on the job by our highly trained and experienced staff.
WEEK 1: Pre-placement & orientation: Up to 12 hours pre-placement preparation at Aspire.
WEEKS 2-10 AND 2-12: On-site placement*: 12-24 hours: 3 days per week/4-8 hours per day.
*Schedules may vary depending on the needs of the company or organization.
Off-site meetings: 1 day per week/2 hours - interns meet weekly at Aspire as a group to debrief their week and receive on-going training. Weekly individual consultation with a career counselor.
To apply for the Spring 2017 and/or Summer 2017 sessions please download the application and submit as instructed.
To apply for financial aid please download the financial aid application and submit as instructed.
For more information about the application process, please refer to Aspire's Application and Tuition page.
Interns are placed in established companies and organizations in the metro Boston area. Placements of interns depend on their abilities. Employment goals are matched with tasks required by the company. Aspire is proud to be working with some of the finest organizations in the Boston metropolitan area. Together Aspire and these companies are opening their doors to these talented, motivated and hard working interns. These community minded employers gain from the special talents of these interns while interns gain the skills needed to thrive in a work environment. It is important to note that not every site hosts an intern every cycle.
This is not an exhaustive list. If you or someone you know wants more information on being an employer partner, please take a look at how to Become an Employer Partner page for more information! Employer Partners have included:
Here are a few testimonials from our interns, their family, and our employer partners.
“The Internship allowed me to feel completely capable of my time at the workplace. The helpfulness of each and every person at Aspire and the kind words from my supervisors allowed me to grin ear-to-ear from all the work I'm doing there, and made me feel valued.”
“My personal goal is to have a positive work experience for myself while contributing to the company and the people I work with, and successfully sharing my skills to benefit the team. I thank Aspire so much for giving me this opportunity.”
“I used to feel awful about myself but now I have confidence.I thought that I couldn’t do good work and I was too scared to apply for jobs. I now know that I am a good worker and I am confident in my skills and in myself in general.”
"Thank you for making my son's two internships through MGH Aspire successful for him. The NWH placement reinforced his skills and work habits. The MGPO placement gave him self-confidence and an ease of working in a small office setting. On his last day, the MGPO staff wished him well with a cake, greeting card and photos. The staff may never know the power that this gesture had had on his sense of accomplishment."
After falling apart emotionally during her first college attempt in Illinois she has regrouped with help from Aspire and found her niche at a local college. She now hopes to eventually go to medical school to become a medical examiner. If that doesn't work she will still have the skills to work in any lab in the country and from someone who thought her life was over before it even got started, she is excited about her future. I can't thank Aspire enough for the incredible support and help that has given her hope and the tools to open the door to a very bright future."
“...we feel that Aspire ran and supported the program exceptionally well, with obvious devotion to the well-being and future of the young adults who are fortunate to be in it. This helped us to adjust on the fly and provide a lot of training, instruction, coaching, and high-quality and high-tech experience for the Aspire interns. Thank you again for this opportunity. We look forward to long-term relationships with your program, and we hope for immense success in the lives and careers of our wonderful interns.”
“I would not say that having an Aspire intern is challenging at all. I will say that I was a little worried in the first week of the internship because I was leery of making our intern nervous or overwhelming him. I would also add that was my issue, not his. After the first couple of days, those feeling went away as he became a member of the team.”
"...I hope that you realize that we as well value the relationship that we have with your program as well. This is the second time working with your program we were lucky enough to have an intern over spring time who assisted us greatly in the office, but even more importantly his personality fit in with office right away and was a pleasure to deal with. I for one miss conversing with him and hope that he enjoyed his stay here as much as we did. As far as our current candidate, it seems we have hit pay dirt once again, although he does not report directly to me, he will always check in with me to see how the quality of his work is. It is quite obvious that he takes pride in his work, and I can honestly tell you I wish we had more like him. I look forward to continue to work with him and to help in any way that I can. In short, in my fifteen years here I can honestly say working with the Aspire program is something that I am most proud of and take pride in playing a small role in. we look forward to continue to work with everyone at Aspire."
Companies work incredibly hard at recruiting and retaining a workforce that is diverse and that will contribute to reaching its goals. It’s good for business and it’s good for employees and customers. We’ve found that more and more employers are including people with disabilities – most specifically, people on the autism spectrum and with related profiles, as a vital part of those initiatives.
Let’s work together to achieve our goals. Our highly trained and experienced staff works with each company to adapt the internship program to the company's needs as closely as possible. Our goal is to help our interns gain important employment skills while adding value to the companies in which they are placed.
To learn how your company can become involved contact us today at:
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