It’s undeniable that Spiders are dedicated scholars who work diligently to achieve their goals — just take a look at those who are winning awards and scholarships, not to mention earning attention from national news outlets. We’re especially proud of those students-turned-entrepreneurs who establish companies (sometimes before they graduate), finding success early in their careers.   

Melissa Diamond, ’15, is launching a new program in Irbid, Jordan, through her nonprofit A Global Voice for Autism, which she started as a student after traveling to Jerusalem through the Chaplaincy’s pilgrimage program. The organization provides support for and helps decrease the stigma of autism in refugee communities and conflict zones across the globe.

“The most powerful part of those experiences has been to be able to share the stories of families and people who are dually marginalized, both as refugees and as people with autism and developmental disabilities, that so often go untold,” Diamond said in an interview. “But you don’t have to be an expert to take action.”

Along with Irbid, the organization serves Mersin, Turkey; the Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Jenin; and the Minneapolis Somali community in Diamond’s home state, Minnesota.

We are so proud of Melissa and the work of her growing organization!

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