Sherman Oaks, California (PRWEB) April 22, 2014
Exceptional Minds digital arts academy for young adults with autism and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, will be partnering on the development, implementation and dissemination of resources for Sesame Street’s See Amazing in All Children initiative which will aim to help increase understanding, reduce stigma, and demonstrate the commonalities that children on the autism spectrum share with all children
Exceptional Minds will join the initiative as the first vocational school of its kind with a working studio of young professionals with autism who are preparing for lifelong careers in digital animation, graphics and post-production. Exceptional Minds students have created animated shorts and other content for business and the entertainment industry, including post-production work for major motion pictures American Hustle and Lawless.
“We are excited to be partnering with Exceptional Minds to utilize the creativity of these artistic young adults to help us create resources for this initiative. This is truly a demonstration highlighting the talents of all children,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop's Senior Vice President for Community and Family Engagement.
“We can’t think of a more worthy and trusting organization than Sesame Workshop to be working with as our students navigate this new and expanded world for anyone with autism,” agreed Ron Burns, a founding board member for Exceptional Minds, which will graduate its first nine students in June.
The school is being lauded as the poster child for job creation for individuals living on the autism spectrum, the majority of whom are disproportionately underemployed or unemployed. With more than 750,000 young people with autism expected to age out of the public school system in the next decade – and 1 in 68 kids to soon follow – Exceptional Minds has received international acclaim recently as one solution to autism-related unemployment.
The vocational school is unique in that it prepares students with autism for careers through professional accreditation and real work experience. Graduates of the Exceptional Minds program show demonstratable skills in the digital arts, having achieved proficiency in at least six software programs considered to be the gold standard in the digital visual effects industry, including Adobe ACA certifications. Some graduates will go on to pursue careers with studios in the movie and related industries and others will pursue contract work through the Exceptional Minds Studio (EMS), an offshoot of Exceptional Minds digital arts academy established last year to provide post-production services by professionally certified young men and women who have high-functioning autism.
About EMS and Exceptional Minds:
Exceptional Minds is a non-profit vocational center and working production studio for young adults on the autism spectrum. Located in Sherman Oaks, California, Exceptional Minds is both an instructional learning facility and a working studio with hands-on student involvement in production projects, many for the film industry. Operating separately and independently, the Exceptional Minds Studio (EMS) provides contract services in web design, animation, rotoscoping and visual effects cleanup on an as-need basis.
About Sesame Workshop:
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the landmark television program that reaches millions of children every day in more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help children everywhere reach their highest potential. Delivered through a variety of platforms, Sesame Workshop develops research-based content – including television programs, books, games, mobile apps and community engagement initiatives – that supports early childhood learning, helps prepare children for school, and addresses developmental needs. The Workshop’s programs are tailored to the needs of specific regions and focus on topics that help young children and families develop critical skills for lifelong learning. For more information, visit us at http://www.sesameworkshop.org.
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