31 May 2020
Project YASH Launched To Serve the Kids on Autism Spectrum

Project YASH was founded in May of 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic–the product of teenage perspective, motivation, and personal experience. We five co-founders have grown up together in families and communities of open dialogue and overwhelming support around special needs. It became clear to us, however, that quarantine restrictions in 2020 were limiting the already low number of activities and social venues for special needs children.

One of our Project YASH co-founders has the unique insight of having an autistic sibling, and it was seeing the direct impact of the pandemic on someone close to us that served as the inspiration for Project YASH. Learning from our days of volunteering at Princeton Special Sports and driven to provide an accessible, virtual platform for a community in need, we decided to try our hand at setting up an organization. We started off small: working with three or four kids, building a few connections through our parents, and exclusively reading. Once this proved to be successful, we expanded–marketing to high school friends we knew, solidifying a list of regular participants, and establishing a social media presence to attract people outside of our circle. Months passed, and Project YASH grew rapidly in terms of numbers as well as offered programs.

Securing an official 501c3 nonprofit status was a huge milestone that only served to push us further. We introduced an arts class, a dance program, a social skills group, and solidified a management team to ensure everything ran smoothly. This is not to say that we haven’t faced our ups and downs; as with any organization, it takes collaboration, cooperation, and friendly debate to accomplish the simplest of tasks. But the results so far, after nearly two months of hard work, have been incredibly rewarding. With over 75 volunteers and 75 participants, Project YASH is nowhere near finished–we will keep expanding, keep improving, and keep cultivating joy in the special needs community.

About Us

Youth Activities for Special Horizons – is a Non-Profit 501c 3 organization that provides a safe online platform for kids on the autism spectrum to interact, learn and make friends with our outstanding youth volunteers.

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