Three Students in the U of A Autism Support Program Invited to Hewlett-Packard for Success Program
Three students in the University of Arkansas' Autism Support Program were recently invited to participate in the Hewlett-Packard Spectrum Success Program.
The students traveled, all expenses paid, to the HP campus in Boise, Idaho. Jimmy Beatty, Ben Hudson and Sam Hudson — who are twins — spent three days at HP, which culminated in an interview for a possible summer internship. HP received 70 applications for the spectrum success program, but only 10 students were selected.
"HP's Spectrum Success Program is a wonderful opportunity for students like those in the U of A's Autism Support Program to demonstrate their abilities in an environment that is adapted to their unique characteristics and needs," said Aleza Greene, director of the program. "I am delighted that three of our students were among the 10 that were invited to participate this year. They all learned a lot and had a great time in Boise and we hope they will be offered summer internships with HP."
All three students were complimentary of the program and said they enjoyed the experience. Each is hopeful about future opportunities to work with HP.
The HP website page about the program notes that traditional hiring practices can screen out qualified and talented applicants with autism. To avoid missing out on top talent, HP partnered with Vocational Rehabilitation and PROVAIL to offer the program. It focuses on recruiting, hiring, and retaining qualified candidates with autism.
"The more points of view we can draw on, the better our company, products, and services will be. Diversity drives innovation, and innovation is what we do," the page states.
The University of Arkansas' Autism Support Program provides intensive assistance in academics, transitioning to independent adult roles, and social skills to undergraduates who are on the autism spectrum. In its eight years, the program has served more than 50 students who come from more than 10 states and one foreign country. Autism Support Program students have majored in a wide variety of subjects and have been involved in a diverse list of extracurricular activities. Graduates have gone on to employment and grad school, but the program is always looking for innovative ways to help them succeed once they earn their degrees.
Shannon G. Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
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