Student Clubs

The Autism Science Foundation has a demonstrated commitment of supporting students through its grant scholarship programs and through its student club program.

Autism Science Foundation Student Clubs (ASFSC) help to further the mission of the Autism Science Foundation. To achieve this goal, student clubs help disseminate information about autism into their school and local communities through awareness activities and educational workshops. Additionally, student clubs host fundraisers to raise money for the Autism Science Foundation, in order to fund critical autism research. ASF student clubs have launched at schools across the country. Learn more about all of the current ASF student clubs.

The Autism Science Foundation is committed to helping and supporting students. ASF’s Pre-/Post-Doctoral grants constitute the largest expenditure of the organization’s budget. These grants help support bright, young researchers, so that they can begin their careers investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for autism.

 

ASF Student Clubs

 

History of ASF Student Clubs

Autism Science Foundation Student Clubs (ASFSC) began in 2011. In September 2011, eight students at Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, New York launched the first official Autism Science Foundation Student Club from the school’s existing autism awareness club. Today, the Scarsdale High School student club has nearly one hundred members and raised over eight thousand dollars in the past year for the Autism Science Foundation.

 

Purpose of Clubs

ASFSC help to further the mission of the Autism Science Foundation. To achieve this goal, student clubs help disseminate information about autism into their school and local communities through awareness activities and educational workshops. Additionally, student clubs host fundraisers to raise money for the Autism Science Foundation, in order to fund critical autism research.

Role of Club in Community

Student clubs work to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorders in the wider community where their school is located. Student clubs also help spread the presence of the Autism Science Foundation within the community. Within the community, our student clubs host fundraising events in order to help fund pre- and post- doctoral research grants.

Role of Club in School

Within schools, student clubs educate their peers about autism through discussions and workshops. Additionally, student clubs help boost youth involvement in ASF. Our student clubs also host fun activities as means of fundraising within the school community. In some cases, ASF student clubs work with special education classes or provide peer mentors for students with autism.

 

Case Studies

High School – Scarsdale High School

The Autism Science Foundation club at Scarsdale High School spreads awareness of autism and raises money for ASF through numerous actives in the Scarsdale community. In the past they have hosted bake sales a silent auction. The silent auction, held each spring, is an extremely successful event. Local stores in Scarsdale donate items and food to the auction. Many members of the community come to support the Autism Science Foundation and learn more about autism. Past speakers have included ASF President Alison Singer and Nick Lombardi, a high school student and outspoken advocate for individuals with autism.

In school, the officers of the club work closely with dedicated club members to educate classmates and raise money within school. Each Tuesday, the club’s officers meet before school to plan events and talk about the specific tasks for the week. Later on Tuesdays, after school, the whole club meets to discuss upcoming events and brainstorm ideas. At the end of each school year, the officers collect applications interview exceptional club members to decide who the next year's officers will be.

College – Yale University

Yale for Autism Awareness (YFAA) was revitalized in 2011 as an Autism Science Foundation student club. YFAA is an undergraduate organization that works to spread awareness on campus and help improve the lives of those affected by autism through community service and fundraising. Members volunteer at local programs Chapel Haven, Benhaven, and Oliver Road with teens and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Additionally, YFAA has hosted several educational events, including a Master’s Tea with ASF President and Yale graduate Alison Singer, a Master’s Tea with Judith Ursitti about autism health care reform and legislation, and a panel discussion with Dr. Fred Volkmar and Dr. James McPartland about the new diagnostic criteria for autism featured in the DSM-V. At the end of each semester, YFAA teams up with the famous local ice cream store Ashley’s for a fundraiser supporting the Autism Science Foundation.

 

How To Get Started

To start an Autism Science Foundation student club, please send a letter of interest to studentclubs@autismsciencefoundation.org. We will then work with you to launch the club, often by putting you in touch with officers of existing clubs.

ASF Resources Available to Clubs

The Autism Science Foundation is available to support student clubs by providing information, speakers, promotional materials, and whatever else our student clubs may need. To find out what ASF can offer, please contact us. We handle each of our student clubs individually, so we are happy to work with each club to make it successful.

The Autism Science Foundation has knowledge through experience about founding student clubs and making them thrive. If you would like more information about any aspect of student clubs, please email studentclubs@autismsciencefoundation.org.

 

Suggested Club Organization

Although specific structures of student clubs may vary based on the school, ASF suggests the following organizational structure based on our earlier student clubs.

Leadership

Officers

Each student club should have a group of officers, made up of students, who are responsible for the overall organization and oversight of the club.

President

The president of the student club is the ultimate person responsible for all of the events, activities, finances, status, and relations of the club with the school, ASF, and the general public. The president is elected by the club members. Any club member is eligible to run for president.

Secretary

The secretary is responsible for assisting the president in his or her tasks. Additionally, the secretary is expected to take notes during club meetings that are available to club members upon request. The secretary is also expected to communicate with club members in school and via social media. The secretary is elected by the club members. Any club member is eligible to run for secretary.

Treasurer

The treasurer is responsible for managing all of the finances of the student club. This responsibility includes fundraising activities and expenses for activities and events. The treasurer must be able to share financial records with their school and ASF upon request. The treasurer is elected by the club members. Any club member is eligible to run for treasurer.

Other Positions

The president may create additional officer positions if necessary and appoint club members to these positions. In order to create a new officer position, a majority of club members must agree.

Advisors

Each student club must have a school faculty member that advises them and supports the club. If you need help finding an advisor, please contact ASF and we can help you find an advisor.

 

Expectations of Clubs

Autism Science Foundation Student Clubs are expected to further the mission of the Autism Science Foundation. To achieve this goal, student clubs help disseminate information about autism into their school and local communities through awareness activities and educational workshops. Additionally, student clubs should host fundraisers to raise money for the Autism Science Foundation, in order to fund critical autism research.

The Autism Science Foundation strives to maintain its image as a reputable funder of critical scientific research, and the student club must not interfere with this image. Student clubs must act in the best interest of the larger organization. If there is any doubt, please contact the Autism Science Foundation for further guidance.

All money that is received through student clubs must be donated to the Autism Science Foundation at a minimum of once at the end of the academic year, though donating of funds as they are received is appreciated. Additionally, the Autism Science Foundation bears no responsibility for financial obligations of student clubs. The individual club must cover any expenses incurred.

 

Fundraiser Suggestions

  • Host a bake sale
  • Host a silent auction
  • Collaborate with local businesses
  • Pizza day
  • Movie night
  • Raffle

Awareness Suggestions

  • Host speakers from the Autism Science Foundation and other autism organizations
  • Invite autism researchers and advocates to your school for panel discussions about specific autism topics
  • Volunteer for a local program for children, teens, or adults with autism
  • Lead discussions at meetings about autism news and new research
  • Host a movie night

 

About the Autism Science Foundation

The Autism Science Foundation is a nonprofit corporation organized for charitable and educational purposes, and exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.

The Autism Science Foundation's mission is to support autism research by providing funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. The organization also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism.

Our organization adheres to rigorous scientific standards and values. We believe that outstanding research is the greatest gift we can offer our families. Every research dollar needs to count.