Here’s an announcement I wrote recently for the Curry School Foundation:
GIFT FROM STERN FAMILY SEEDS UVA CENTER FOR AUTISM
An inaugural $150,000 gift to the Curry School Foundation’s Autism Pathways Fund from Sandra (Ed.D. ’85 Admin & Supv) and Evan Stern will jumpstart efforts already underway to establish a University of Virginia Center for Autism. As envisioned, the Center for Autism will combine the University’s considerable resources in autism research, coordinated care, and teacher and clinical professional preparation, positioning UVA as a national leader. This effort, led by the Curry School, will significantly impact the increasing U.S. population of people diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder by providing research-based medical and educational breakthroughs.
Mrs. Stern, a Curry School alumna with an education doctorate, has been an ardent supporter of the School for more than three decades. Firsthand connections with people affected by autism, however, are what most attracted the Sterns’ investment in the pan-University initiative.
As a child, Mrs. Stern remembers meeting a neighbor with autism who was isolated at home. The incident had a strong emotional impact on her. “There was nothing available for him other than what his parents could provide him in their home,” she remembers. She learned more about autism and options for families years later when her sister began working as a teaching assistant in a preschool for autistic children. READ THE REMAINDER OF THIS ARTICLE ON THE CURRY SCHOOL WEBSITE.