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Blend Extra: Creating Autism Awareness, Acceptance and Empathy

Good Friend, Inc. and Bank Five Nine
Posted at 12:50 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 13:50:31-04

Our next winner in The Morning Blend Gives back with Bank Five Nine is Good Friend, Inc.

Good Friend Inc. knows there is beauty in diversity, there is strength in community, there is magic in inclusion.

This non-profit organization uses social emotional tools to establish a culture of acceptance in schools and beyond.

Chelsea Budde and Denise Schamens formed Good Friend, Inc. as parents of autistic children.

They are mothers of children on the spectrum, now young adults on the spectrum. They watched their sons struggle to make friends with their classmates, and from other parents of children on the spectrum, they learned that their sons were not unique in their struggle.

Whereas Good Friend has reached over 54,000 people with it’s autism awareness-acceptance-empathy message since 2007, it recently reached its 45,000th student!

Now that Good Friend has helped improve the culture of inclusion for so many schools and camps, it’s moving into high school and beyond by talking about neurodiversity in the workforce. More than 80% of autistic adults are un- or under-employed. We’re hosting free Lunch & Learns through Zoom to engage human resource professionals, community support staff, and job candidates in learning how hiring autistic talent is good for business!