Nonprofit Feature of the Week: Autism Speaks U WVU

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Autism Speaks U WVU was founded two years ago by former WVU Student Kasia Bryant.

Autism Speaks U is a program from the nonprofit organization Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks founded in 2005 seeks to change the future for all of those who struggle with the autism spectrum disorders. Launched in 2008, the college version of the program, Autism Speaks U, is a program designed to support college students in their awareness, advocacy, and fundraising efforts for Autism Speaks.

The organization is the first of its type in Morgantown. Current Autism Speaks U WVU president Nel-Sylvia Guzman shared her perspective on what the organization brings to Morgantown.

West Virginia University recently got a chapter in 2011. Former WVU student and WVU Autism Speaks U president, Kasia Bryant founded the chapter here at WVU because she said it’s important to the community.

“There was really nothing in Morgantown that promoted autism awareness,” explained Bryant. “My hope is that this chapter is bringing an awareness for autism and if people have questions that we can be an outlet for them to ask those questions and get answer.”

As a university organization, Autism Speaks U WVU understands that social media is an important tool to get college students involved.

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Autism U Speaks WVU uses social media such as Facebook and Twitter to promote special fundraising events.

“We use social media as a way to promote events and anything happening in the world related to Autism such as facts or newsworthy information,” said Bryant. “The organization also uses social media as a way to communicate with other chapters and headquarters in New York. I do think that this chapter could do more by promoting events earlier via social media and get more people involved through social media.”

The organization is small right now, but they’re hoping to use social media and the university to grow and create more awareness for autism.

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