The nonprofit vocational school and working studio for young adults with autism kicked off its 2016 giving season with a generous donation from multimedia giant and old friend, Adobe.
Sherman Oaks, CA, December 22, 2016 (Newswire.com) - The $100,000 donation from the Adobe Foundation is the latest in a long list of its support dating back to 2011, when the Exceptional Minds school and working studio was started by visionaries in the film and visual effects industry to create a bridge between high school and the working world for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
The check was delivered to Exceptional Minds by the Adobe Foundation during the week of GivingTuesday and will provide much-needed funding for job development and computer resources as well as financial aid for students in need. Also in recent weeks, Adobe donated new software and sent to the school a team of product development specialists to provide instruction and tips that will help Exceptional Minds students and graduates advance their job skills. “Between the donation of funds, software and interactive time, Adobe has truly become one of the most important partners we have in making our mission a reality,” commented Ernie Merlán, the Executive Director for Exceptional Minds.
We are proud of our partnership with Exceptional Minds and admire their mission of bringing out the innate creativity among young adults with autism, and getting them ready for careers in digital animation and visual effects.
Michelle Crozier, Executive Director, Adobe Foundation
“The Adobe Foundation’s investments in education are focused on providing opportunities to underrepresented youth, which also contributes to the diversification of the workforce,” said Michelle Crozier, Executive Director, Adobe Foundation and Director, Adobe Social Impact + Sustainability. “We are proud of our partnership with Exceptional Minds and admire their mission of bringing out the innate creativity among young adults with autism, and getting them ready for careers in digital animation and visual effects.”
Over the past five years, Adobe and the Adobe Foundation have donated time and thousands of dollars in software applications, training resources and mentoring to the school. Exceptional Minds was the first vocational school for young adults with autism to certify its students as Adobe Certified Associates (ACA) in order to prepare them for careers in visual effects. Adobe products such as Animate, After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop and Premiere remain a cornerstone in the Exceptional Minds curriculum for preparing young adults with autism for careers in the visual effects industry. “Adobe understood from the start the significance of what we are achieving here at Exceptional Minds. Their continued support has meant so much to our students and their families,” said Merlán.
In addition to Adobe, Cartoon Network, Viacom, HBO, and other Exceptional Minds sponsors have provided funding and support to the school in order to help meet the groundswell of demand by young adults on the spectrum in need of job skills. Graduates of Exceptional Minds’ three-year vocational program go on to work in the animation and visual effects fields for studios such as Marvel and Stargate, or for the Exceptional Minds Studio, which has worked on more than 50 productions, including Doctor Strange, Game of Thrones, X-Men: Apocalypse, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.
Currently, the majority of the nation’s 3.5 million people with autism are unemployed or underemployed, according to government statistics. More than 500,000 U.S. children impacted by the disorder will enter adulthood during this decade, with more than one in 68 children to follow.
Exceptional Minds is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To find out more, click here.
Source: Grassroots Communications on behalf of Exceptional Minds