The best part of working on this short video was probably eating great meals with Sam, an excellent chef with fantastic taste. (You can see in the video the carnitas we enjoyed, and he also showed us his restaurant and some other local favorites.)
The other best part of the shoot – and the meals – was spending time with my old friend Kelly McLaughlin Brown. When we started this project I told her Friends Of Quinn was a site focused on the unique challenges and achievements of young adults with learning differences – especially what happens after they leave the support structure high schools provide.
Kelly has been working with children and young adults on the autism spectrum since 2005. Around the same time as we began filming the series, she launched her own nonprofit organization to create programs helping adults to find employment and enjoy relationship skills. Her work in this area meant that she was expert in a subject we were just beginning to learn about. Kelly introduced me to a few of the people she knew who had interesting stories about their experiences living with learning differences. They were not only fantastic on camera, but also great to get to know. Thank you Kelly.
Since we filmed the series, Kelly’s nonprofit has merged with Autism Works. She tells me she is outrageously busy, but busy on her mission to make sure that individuals have the support they need for independent employment, friendships, and residency. Keep up the good work!