Rockets grew in compassionate leadership thanks to Hands Across Campus (HAC), our inclusion and diversity student organization, who organized an assembly whose topic was autism and theme was “Show me my neighbor.”
Mary Helen Richer, CEO of the Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati, educated students about autism and shared ways to be more empathetic, patient, and caring. She challenged students to learn something new every day and to use that knowledge to better understand others.
Megan Kuhn ’23, HAC member whose passion for autism awareness led to the assembly, said, “Our biggest goal is to promote and spread autism awareness. We want students to understand what autism is so that they can better understand those who we can be quick to judge. Misunderstandings can keep us from learning and loving folks.”
Megan’s mother, Joycelyn Kuhn, spoke at the assembly and shared how autism has personally affected her and her family’s life. She shared stories of her son Mikey’s experiences as a person with autism, her journey in supporting him, and ways that the compassion and care of others have brought joy to Mikey and her family.
Megan said, “My mom is observant, patient, and knowledgeable of my brother’s needs but also my family’s needs…My mom has taught our family and friends how to love and treat others who might not be like everyone else. She shows people how amazing every person is individually, and she strongly believes that each person has many unique gifts to share with the world, no matter who they are.”
HAC Vice President Cloe Jones ‘22 said, “We as HAC leaders chose this focus as we want to ensure that all persons are treated with respect and dignity. Often not knowing information causes people to fear, make fun of, or ignore others. So, in not wanting anyone NOT to be seen in the McNick community or outside, we are helping all to understand those diagnosed with autism. Thank you for joining us on the journey of learning more and learning from, along with loving, our friends and relatives with autism.”
Lord of All Love, As I step out the door, show me my neighbor. As I read the news, show me my neighbor. As I pray, show me my neighbor. On my left, on my right, perhaps turning to me right now, show me my neighbor. Where my eyes have passed before and then turned away, show me my neighbor. Where my ears have heard cries that I have ignored, show me my neighbor. As they share a story that is different from my story, help me to listen as if it is my own. And then let me love them in their joy and in their distress, that their delight be mine and their pain be mine too. Let me love them as completely and mercifully as you love me. Amen.