Gaming tournament raises funds to train autistic adults for workforce
COLUMBIA - Gamers competed Saturday to raise funds for EnCirlce Technologies,a non-profit that provides post-secondary education for local adults with autism.
Executive Director Teri Walden said both her and her co-founder started the organization because they were looking for fitting post-secondary education for their sons.
"I know that a lot of families have expressed relief that there is something for them here in the local mid-Missouri area," Walden said.
Walden said the organization started in 2013 with three students working out of a basement. Currently, EnCircle Technologies has 10 students and nine different technology courses.
"Our goal is to provide a space and place for young adults with autism to learn technology skills for jobs. We want to combat a low employment rate and low education rate for adults with autism," Walden said.
The courses are project-based so students have something to show on their resume.
"We tap into their technology interests and skills and help them to do project-based learning so they can put the projects on their resume,' Walden said.
Saturday's event was co-organized by EpicEd, a local organization educating kids about teamwork, co-operation and discipline through competetive gaming. After meeting with EpicEd Vice President of Operations Connor Hall, Walden said they decided a video game tournament would be a good fundraiser for EnCircle Technologies.
"We wanted to do a fundraiser that would involve them and be something that they would enjoy," Walden said.
The partnership provided EpicEd participants an avenue for competition while also raising awareness and funds for EnCircle Technologies.
For more information about EnCircle Technologies or to donate, visit the organization's website.