Denver-based organization TACT (Teaching the Autism Community Trades) proves just how right things can go for a young person who’s been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); the key is playing to one’s strengths.
That’s how founder Danny Combs built the organization, which teaches young people with ASD technical trades. Combs watched his son, Dylan, excel in conceptualization and building 3D objects. Knowing others in the Autism community have similar gifts, Combs started TACT as a way to guide his son and others into the workforce. The resulting community and positive change in many people’s lives got the organization and Combs recognition from Mike Rowe’s Returning the Favor Facebook show.
“The idea of putting together a nonprofit inspired by your son isn’t probably the path that a lot of people would take,” said Combs on the episode. “But I want [Dylan] to see that it was all for him and all for our community and it’s because it’s because we love him and value him. All of this is worth it for the kids in our community, that we’re giving them something they’ve deserved for a long time.”
TACT has workshops and a career track in auto mechanics, through which Combs says students learn a variety of mechanical skills. They’ve been working on old and vintage cars and selling them to support future student efforts. Returning the Favor offered to help by donating two vintage cars to work on, plus $10,000.
Combs was genuinely surprised to be honored by Rowe, whose S.W.E.A.T. Pledge (Skill and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo) hangs in the TACT lobby. Watch the heartwarming episode at facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor.