The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Lighting it Up Blue for Autism

Lighting it Up Blue for Autism

The University participated in an autism awareness effort with the aim of fundraising and educating students on the disability, as well as giving the campus a little color.

As “Lighting it Up Blue” took over, members in the School of Education, Campus Ministry, Athletics, Division of Student Affairs, College of Professional Studies and Registrar sponsored several events to spread knowledge on autism and raise money for Autism Speaks, the leading autism science and advocacy organization in the U.S.

Alyssa Gianelli, the Kappa Delta Pi Historian, organized most of the events along with other members of her society throughout the University’s reduced version of Autism Awareness month.

As of Tuesday, the Light it Up Blue rally earned $1,500 according to Gianelli.

Alyssa admits she always feels a “connection” with children who have the “heartbreaking disorder” that affects their ability to communicate with others.

“It’s so fulfilling to me when I do make a connection with a child who has autism,” Gianelli, who’s majoring in Childhood Education, said.

“I can’t imagine how it feels for these individuals to live in their own worlds, not knowing how to reach out to the people who care so much about them.”

“I became a part of the Light it Up Blue committee because I care about promoting autism awareness and I care about making a difference in the lives of those who deal with autism on a daily basis.”

Students in Kappa Delta Pi , School of Ed, and Jumpstart ventured outside of the school to spread some blue-love last Friday morning. They participated in Heart Share, a program that assists individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities.

They were divided into two groups and each would go to a different preschool, whose majority of students are on the autism spectrum.

“As a future educator it definitely gave me more awareness of autism,” he said. “Aside from a couple things, they are not that much different than general-ed kids.”

I enjoyed being able to read to them and participate.”

Krista Prestia, who’s brother Anthony is autistic, is happy that so many people have bought into the cause and overwhelming support she’s received during the Light it Up Blue week.

“I really enjoyed being part of the light it up blue team and we raised a lot of money,” Krista Prestia said.

“It’s been really nice having people support a cause that I’ve supported my entire life and to have other people who have no connection to autism be so supportive and so into this great cause.”“It’s been a great week to raise awareness on autism.


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Christopher Brito, News Editor
Contact: [email protected]. Since day one, Chris has been willing to sit down and learn the tricks and tools necessary to carry out this job. He has been dedicated, not only to reporting and writing on his own stories, but to the Torch as a whole. He has also not been hesitant to take on any and all responsibilities, something I’m sure he will continue to do throughout the next year.  These attributes will help Chris to raise the bar of excellence that has come to be expected of the Torch during his tenure as news editor. . —Anthony O-Reilly News Editor, Emeritus

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