Welcome to Erin Sweeney's Page
Dear Friends and Family,
As you know, I work at the Virginia Institute of Autism in Charlottesville, and I absolutely love it! VIA provides life-changing services to families challenged by autism through innovative, evidence-based programs in education, outreach, and adult services. I have been teaching for over a year now and I can tell you that there is never a dull moment at VIA. Some days may end with a few bumps and bruises, but because of these students, I have grown as a person and my life is forever changed.
My students include high school aged kids who are preparing to transition to VIA’s post high and adult programs. Let me tell you about one of them--Tay. Tay is simply one of the most incredible people I know. Every day I witness her master tasks such as simple kitchen chores, filling out a job application, and carrying on a conversational volley on many different topics. Tay and I even volunteer at Meals on Wheels and the Salvation Army every week together. Tay challenges me every day. We have been together through struggles and successes and through it all, Tay shines bright.
A few weeks ago, my grandfather passed away. When I returned to school after the funeral, I was still mourning my grandfather’s death and feeling gloomy. Little did I know this was about to change. Everyone who knows Tay knows she loves to sing to herself about whatever is on her mind. As I walked up to Tay’s car to get her for the day, I heard “Erin, Erin, Erin” being sung. I opened the door to Tay singing my name. She greeted me with the most enthusiastic “good morning, I missed Erin!” and talked about how today was going to be a great day. Little does Tay know that I started to tear up and at that moment she made me realize how much I love my job and how much of an impact I have on my students’ lives. I now know how truly lucky I am to have the opportunity to work with such incredible and inspiring kids.
I often hear that people admire the work that I do; now is your chance to give to the students and their families as well. On April 22nd, I’m participating in the Run for Autism 5K. By joining in the Run for Autism, YOU are also a part of VIA’s mission. You help us make this event successful year after year.
Please join me by becoming a runner or making a donation to my team today.
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