Non-verbal autistic grad lands job at school library
Published Thursday, April 2, 2015 5:21PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 2, 2015 7:50PM EDT
Jake Bodanis does not attend Chaminade College School in Toronto but has taken on a role at the school library that has brought joy to his life and others.
Bodanis, 22, is living with autism and when he graduated last year his parents were unsure what would be in store for his future.
“What do you do now that they are finished school? There aren’t a lot of job placements,” David Bodanis, Jake’s father, told CTV Toronto’s Naomi Parness.
His parents spoke with the staff at the all-boys Catholic school, where his father and brother attended, and Bodanis began to volunteer in the library once a week for one hour. This eventually expanded and now Bodanis works every day for three hours.
Nadia Pasquini, the teacher librarian at Chaminade College School, had never worked with someone who is autistic. She says that Jake welcomes her at the office everyday saying “Good Morning, Nadia.”
Pasquini gets emotional while speaking about how Jake has taught her patience and kindness.
“You talk about all the good stuff it’s done for him and I’m thinking you have no idea what it has done for me as a person,” Pasquini says about Jake.
“It just puts things in perspective for me. When he is here it is such a joy having him around,” Pasquini adds.
Pasquini adds that Jake has flourished because of this job, becoming much more verbal and social.
Bodanis’ family says this story is proof that together communities can help to change lives.
“It isn't the easiest thing in world but if you reach out to give helping hand some minor miracles can happen,” Bodanis’ said.
Jake and his friends raised the flag Thursday for World Autism Awareness Day, a symbolic sign of this school's support for the young man who has had an impact on this entire school community.