Two events happened in the past two weeks that got me to thinking about progress. The most recent was a teacher workday in which the staff of TCS came together to talk about organizational goals – what we wanted to achieve as a collective across a range of aspects and domains – from financial sustainability to a culture of acceptance. It was a lively discussion fueled by passion and commitment. It underscored my belief that we are a unique group of people driven by a desire for improvement and bound together by a mission we believe in wholeheartedly.
The second event was a group of young adults in the transition program commenting on their first impressions of each other, as part of a weekly group that has met for the past two years. This evolved into a discussion of change, with each of the guys noting the growth and progress of the others.
“You are much more calm and relaxed.”
“You listen more and seem to actually care about what other people have to say.”
“When you started here you wanted to kill yourself, and now you seem almost happy.”
Those are just some of the things the group shared. To a person, each guy noted how The Community School had helped each of the others and when asked how the place helps, they all answered some version of the following quote.
“This is a place where people care and understand, where you can be yourself and let all your ugly hang out. When you are in that kind of environment, change is easy. Everybody gets better.”
Over the years, The Community School has grown and changed itself. We have a broader reach, serving more individuals and training others to do so worldwide. Our expertise has developed to be at the forefront in the field of autism, particularly in serving adolescents and young adults. The work we’re doing is tremendous. This is in no small part because as a community we are dedicated to progress and have faith in the idea that each of us is capable of great growth, if only given the opportunity and means. We have found this true both for our organization and those we serve.