Gaining access to employment presents many challenges for young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. To help overcome those difficulties, the Dan Marino Foundation aims to provide career support through its Marino Student Café program, which recently received a $15,000 grant from the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to further the mission.
“The national employment rate for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities is 17%,” says Mary Partin, CEO of Dan Marino Foundation. “Thanks to programs like the Marino Café, made possible by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, this year’s Marino Campus student employment placement was at 72%.”
The Emeril Lagasse Foundation, founded by the famed chef and his wife, has donated nearly $250,000 to the Dan Marino Foundation over the years to help enrich its programs that help participants find gainful employment, enhance social growth and secure independent living.
Students attending the Marino Student Café receive weekly training in various aspects of the hospitality industry, including learning how to take inventory, arrange a shopping order, craft menus, prepare food and deliver orders. The foundation is currently developing a “Point-of-Service” system to provide additional practice opportunities and exposure to various careers.
Since its inception in 1992, the Dan Marino Foundation has generated over $87.5 million to create and support initiatives to enhance the lives of young adults with developmental disabilities like autism.
For more information, visit DanMarinoFoundation.org.