BOARD MEMBER (this is an unpaid position)
Urban Autism Solutions is seeking interested candidates to join our board of directors.
For 10 years, UAS has been dedicated to improving outcomes for young adults with autism and related challenges through supported immersion in the community and by providing residential, social, and vocational programming through our nationally recognized Growing Solutions Farm and UAS West Side Transition Academy.
While UAS has had an important impact on more than 1,000 youth and has helped dozens more young adults with autism and related disabilities secure jobs, we are just getting started. We need an innovative, creative thinker who can help us strategically grow, and help us to position the organization as an innovative leader producing measurable outcomes for our clients.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We are looking for a dynamic, visionary professional to join our board of directors who can help propel UAS into the future. We seek someone who believes that people with autism and related learning differences are valuable members of society who deserve the same resources and opportunities as their peers. Our ideal candidate will be passionate about the important role non-profit organizations like UAS play in providing needed resources to disadvantaged youth from the West Side of Chicago. Whether your passion is autism, social justice, disability rights, mental health, or creating and elevating employment opportunities for young people on Chicago’s West Side, you have a role to play with UAS. This is an unpaid position, and board members must be able to pass a criminal background check and get fingerprinted.
Be an active participant in helping to secure additional donations and funding to help UAS grow through your extensive professional and personal networks and connections.
Join a board whose members have extensive professional experience in health care, government, education, business, and finance, and whose generous support has helped put UAS on the map as one of the fastest-growing non-profits in the Chicagoland area.
Participate in quarterly board meetings (via Zoom) and attend various events throughout the year.
Help shape the strategic direction of UAS.
ABOUT URBAN AUTISM SOLUTIONS
Urban Autism Solutions was founded in 2012 by Julie and Mike Tracy, as a result of their search for appropriate programs for their son John, who has autism, as he aged out of high school. Dissatisfied with what they saw, they founded UAS to help improve outcomes for young adults with autism and related challenges through supported immersion in the community and social and vocational programs.
Urban Autism Solutions provides these services at its UAS West Side Transition Academy, Growing Solutions Farm, a 1.2-acre produce farm in the Illinois Medical District, and through various social programs via Network 1212. While some programs are open, the UAS West Side Transition Academy was established primarily to serve young adults with autism from West Side Chicago public high schools.
Ninety-five percent of students at these CPS schools come from households with incomes at or below the federal poverty level. They and their families experience significant food insecurity and community violence, as the West Side is home to some of the most violent neighborhoods in Chicago. Their schools, while mandated to provide appropriate education tailored to their unique needs, simply do not have the resources available to provide the amount of services students truly need. Young adults with autism are more than twice as likely to remain unemployed in the two years after high school compared to young adults with other disabilities, including intellectual disabilities.
Students who attend the UAS West Side Transition Academy have access to licensed speech-language pathologists, social workers, and occupational therapists. They participate in job shadows, internships, transportation training, social-emotional learning, and many other activities that provide skills needed to function in the community. Students who are job-ready work with our team on interviewing skills, resume development and receive job coaching. Students who get hired get on-the-job support as they acclimate to work life.