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U SPORTS commits support to Jake's House for Children with Autism

U SPORTS Staff

Jake's House co-founder David Bodanis, CEO Jennifer Joseph and U SPORTS COO David Goldstein (Credit: Danilo Ferron / Jake's House)

Ontario Renews Funding for charity’s Legends Mentoring Program helping children build social skills; feel part of their community

U SPORTS announced Friday its commitment to support Jake’s House for Children with Autism and its initiatives.

The Canadian charity supports families with children who have Austism Spectrum Disorder.

“U SPORTS is proud to support Jake’s House, an important organization that does such valuable work on behalf of Canadian children and families living with autism,” said David Goldstein, Chief Operating Officer at U SPORTS. “Our extraordinary network of thousands of student-athletes across the country never cease to amaze us with their commitment to their communities, and we will be encouraging them to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder and consider becoming Jake’s House advocates in the future.”

At the announcement, the Ontario government also revealed it is creating better outcomes for children and youth with autism by investing $325,000 in the Legends Mentoring Program at Jake's House.

"Children and youth with autism are often subjected to bullying and harassment from their peers,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. "It is difficult to find mentorship and afterschool activities that cater to their specific needs. By investing in mentorship programs, such as the one's offered by Jake's House, we are normalizing the inclusion of children and youth with autism in our society."

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The Legends Mentoring Program matches volunteer mentors 18 years or older, many from university and high school hockey teams, with children or youth with autism and their families for three to nine month periods. The program increases their community engagement, helps them develop social skills and a sense of inclusion as well as improve their relationships with their peers and community members.

"We know that when children and youth with autism have positive role models and get support to develop relationships, they are able to live better and happier lives," added MacLeod.

For more information on the Legends Mentoring Program, click here.