For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Youth Voices with Arnaldo

Neurodivergent Young Adult Advisory Council Member

  • Transition Pathways
Posted on October 30, 2023

Meet Arnaldo, a former participant of one of Transition Pathways’ school-to-work transition programs. In 2022, Arnaldo became an active member of our Neurodivergent Young Adult Advisory Council (NYAAC). Currently, Arnaldo is attending the Community College of Philadelphia working towards his associate in art and design while working part-time. He recently took the time to share some of his thoughts around entering the workforce and the importance of having a good support system.  


What were some of your concerns about entering the workforce?  

My biggest concern initially about entering the workforce was the lack of experience I had in the workforce. Though I did have some experience through volunteering and that helped me get a handle on things, especially in an environment that’s constantly moving. When it came to securing a job, the biggest challenge mostly came from the pandemic due to quarantine. I did ultimately end up working at the Drexel Dining Center through the help of connections I had with the team at Transition Pathways. This led me to attending a hiring fair where I was offered a position on the spot.  


What part are you most excited about having a new job?

The part that excited me the most was the ability to expand my experience in an actual work environment. This meant learning to get hands on with the variety of tasks offered at the workplace and learning to better manage my time while performing various duties while on the job. There’s also the people you meet as well, who even though you might not talk to all the time, help a lot towards improving your social skills, even outside the workplace.


What do you want employers to know about hiring people with autism or other disabilities?  

A thing that’s very important for employers to know about people with autism is taking into account the different paces of learning. Especially when it comes to someone who is new to working. I know my first time working, even though I did receive training it was particularly fast paced, meaning there were some things that flew over my head, mainly due to anxiety over wanting to perform well. Allowing time for people with autism to get adjusted to the workplace can make a huge difference in how well they do.  


What advice would you give to someone who is preparing to enter the workforce? 

The most important advice I can give to someone who is trying to enter the workforce is to make connections with people in professional positions, who also have connections to other organizations like, for example, Aramark. While you can get places simply by using sites like LinkedIn, having connections can simplify the process of job searching by a lot.  


Transition Pathways provides experiential learning to students with autism and/or intellectual disabilities with a goal of sustainable, competitive employment in the community. To learn more about our work and support us, click HERE.    

Stay in touch – mailing list sign up