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), Cisco Networking Academy, Mitch Albom's SAY Detroit Play Center, 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 30-40 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.
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).
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