Mercyhurst Magazine Summer 2015

CLIMB TO ‘ROOF OF AFRICA’ RAISES AUTISM AWARENESS He had only about 20 minutes to savor the victory after reaching “The Roof of Africa” – the 19,341-foot Mount Kilimanjaro. Brad McGarry, director of the Autism Initiative at Mercyhurst (AIM), watched the sun rise from the summit on Feb. 17, but then quickly had to begin the descent to base camp.

He and his two climbing partners, with a 23-member support team, spent about eight days climbing the peak and another two days heading back down. They started in temperatures over 100 and ended up with subzero temperatures and dangerously low

AIM recently added a Career Exploration Program to its curriculum, but few such resources are available to assist with the transition from college to the work world and unemployment rates among adults on the spectrum range as high as 85 percent. McGarry used the publicity surrounding his climb to encourage businesses to commit to hiring well-qualifed adults on the autism

oxygen levels.

While the trek was exciting, McGarry’s real goal was to “Raise the Roof for Autism,” drawing attention to the need to create vocational opportunities for adults on the


You can fnd videos and photos from the trip at .

autism spectrum.

THE CARPE DIEM SPIRIT Each Mercyhurst senior class caps its Senior Week activities with a “100 Days to Graduation” party at the nearby Cornerstone. It starts the countdown to commencement, but also celebrates the fact that the students have 100 more days at Mercyhurst – time to fnish strong, to spend with friends and to make lots more Mercyhurst memories. Since 2012, a similar party has marked the end of the frst 100 Days at Mercyhurst for the freshman class. In true “Carpe Diem” spirit, these bookend events remind students to seize every opportunity during their time at Mercyhurst. Shown getting ready for the Class of 2015 celebration are Julie Smicinski, Amanda Marley, Katelyn Bailey and Anna Wills, chairs of the Senior Class Gift Committee.


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