1,000 Dreams Fund’s MentorHER Initiative Connecting College Students with Autism to Mentors in Partnership with Three Universities

Students on the Autism Spectrum are entering higher education, inspiring us all, and redefining what it means to be a lifelong learner.

But, just like any student, they can benefit from the high-impact, life-changing mentoring sessions — like the ones 1,000 Dreams Fund has been facilitating in our MentorHER Initiative, our national program focused on providing young women in college and graduate schools with well-matched mentors for a one-time, 60-minute 1:1 mentorship session.

In honor of Autism Awareness Month this past April, we worked out something that we’re very excited about: We have formulated partnerships with three university programs across the U.S. that are dedicated to serving students with autism — and they will be participating in our MentorHER Initiative!

Starting this summer, we will be working with these university programs to connect students with autism with mentors across a variety of professions. 

“Young women in the U.S. need more mentors — whether in college or in the workplace — to help them reach their dreams. But mentors can be hard to find, especially for those who may experience learning and professional development differently from the traditional student,” says Christian Garton, 1,000 Dreams Fund CEO and founder. “This is such important work — and we cannot wait to see how our mentors make a difference in the lives of even more students.”

Here are the universities we’re working with!

1. Raven Scholars Program, University of Idaho

The Raven Scholars program supports students who are on the Autism Spectrum by providing coordination of campus services, peer mentoring, social and life skills coaching, supported decision making and strategies to improve academic, social and life skills.

2. Mosaic, University of Tennessee 

Mosaic is a multifaceted and comprehensive program developed to support the holistic needs of degree-seeking students on the Autism Spectrum. Mosaic strives to give students an authentic college experience while providing a supportive and challenging environment that cultivates interpersonal, intrapersonal, and professional growth. It is their mission to foster independence and the development of community with the ultimate goal of gainful employment in the students’ chosen career.  

3. Taishoff Center, Syracuse University

The Lawrence B. Taishoff Center works toward the full and equal participation of all college students with disabilities: in academics, the arts, extracurricular activities and campus life, career-related opportunities, and the vibrant social communities and cultures campuses can offer. They are especially committed to the inclusion of students with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities, who have traditionally been excluded from higher education. 

To learn more about the MentorHER Initiative or sign up to mentor or be mentored, visit our MentorHER Initiative page