Exceptional Academy

Year Founded
Local Leader/Exec. Director
David Franco
Primary Contact Name
David Franco
Main Address

801 Griswold Street
Northville, MI 48167
United States

Living and Learning Enrichment Center
United States

What We Do

The Exceptional Academy is a joint effort between the Living and Learning Enrichment Center (a Northville nonprofit that helps teens and adults with autism and related challenges) and Cisco Networking Academy along with consulting support from Patrick Romzek (retired Cisco executive and Program Designer). The Exceptional Academy offers IT certification training (CCNA-Cisco Certified Network Associate) with a focus in cybersecurity to metro Detroit area adults with disabilities. The program consists of about 40 weeks of classroom training starting in the fall. After successfully attaining certification, we provide assistance with finding internships and jobs primarily at partnering organizations where available. The ultimate goal is for permanent employment for all of our students in Cybersecurity or Networking. Since its inception in 2019, it has been THE most advanced work skills training program designed specifically for adults with disabilities in the state of Michigan and all surrounding states. Another goal of the Exceptional Academy is to raise awareness and educate area companies on the many advantages of working with adults with disabilities.

"As a young adult with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), I wasn't sure how I would accomplish my long-term goal of living independently and being able to support myself financially. The Exceptional Academy provided me with the tools and support I need to pursue a career in the IT industry and to reach my full potential," Dominic C., Graduating Class of 2020. We are changing the lives of adults with disabilities by helping them go from janitors at fast-food restaurants making at or near minimum wage to Cybersecurity Consultants at national firms with a potential to eventually earn 6 figures (https://www.plantemoran.com/explore-our-thinking/insight/2021/05/beyond-fast-food-students-with-autism-find-careers).

Interesting Info
  • EA was the first academy of its kind in the State of Michigan and only the 2nd of its kind in the entire country.
  • 90% of adults with autism are unemployed (Autism Alliance)
  • Companies that embrace neurodiversity can gain competitive advantage in many areas — productivity, innovation, culture and talent retention. (Ernst & Young)
Geographic Location
Volunteer Opportunities

Business Partners- develop a neurodiverse technology workforce for your company
Repeats daily for 525 times
Duration of 23 hours 59 minutes

Business Mentors and Speakers - Technology Professionals, HR, Local Leaders
Repeats daily on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 9:00am until Friday, May 31st, 2024
Flexible Timing

Photos and Videos