May 2024 Newsletter


Join Us as a Sponsor! BroadFutures 2024 Fall Gala:

Voices for Change

Atlas Highlights BroadFutures Partnership

Atlas Performing Arts Center spotlit their partnership with us in a recent video that captured a day in the life of Winter ‘24 BroadFutures intern, Oskar Hartnett Mueller. We are thrilled to be partnering with Atlas again this summer and are always grateful to be in community with such a historic pillar of the DC arts and entertainment industry. Watch the video below!

Employer Spotlight

We are thrilled to be highlighting our growing partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton this month. After a successful winter pilot program with Booz Allen Hamilton, we are partnering again this summer to expand the cohort size and make even greater strides towards workplace equity.

When reflecting on their experience with BroadFutures thus far, Data Analyst, Varsha Raju, shared, “We’ve enjoyed having [our intern] be part of our team and working with BroadFutures! Our weekly conversations [with BroadFutures] have been helpful to understand how we can better work alongside neurodiverse professionals and continue BAH’s effort to strive for an all-inclusive workplace environment!”

Thank you Varsha and the Booz Allen Hamilton team! We look forward to working with you again this summer.

Intern Spotlight

This month we are shining the spotlight on Winter ‘24 BroadFutures intern, Owen Whitman! Owen is originally from South Korea and currently lives here in Washington, DC. This winter, Owen interned at IHG Hotels & Resorts where he supported the laundry facilities staff. 

When asked to reflect on his experience at BroadFutures, Owen shared, “My favorite part of the BroadFutures program was all of the self advocacy lessons.” 

Owen’s enthusiasm and eagerness to try new things brought so much to our Winter cohort. We look forward to Owen’s continued success as a BroadFutures alumni!

Interested in Learning More about BroadFutures?

Join us for our monthly information session on June 27 at 12:00 pm to learn about our upcoming programs. Register below to attend!

Young neurodivergent people have limitless potential.

Let’s unlock it.

Mental Health in the Workplace: A Conversation with Dr. David O. Black

Dr. David O. Black is a pediatric neuropsychologist, director of the Center for Assessment And Treatment, and an internationally recognized expert in autism spectrum and related disorders. He provides ongoing individual and family consultation and support with an emphasis in assisting families navigate the transition to adulthood. In addition to his work with individuals who have social communication challenges, Dr. Black provides comprehensive neuropsychological assessment and consultation services to children, adolescents, and adults with learning differences, attention disorders, and medical conditions such as epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and genetic disorders. Prior to founding the Center for Assessment And Treatment, Dr. Black was a researcher in the Pediatrics and Developmental Neuroscience Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health, NIH. 

Interview with Dr. David O. Black

BF: This year, BroadFutures is highlighting different voices for change within the neurodiverse community. Our focus for May is Mental Health Awareness and learning more from mental health professionals like yourself. Can you talk to us more about what interested you in pursuing a career that serves neurodivergent young people and their families? 

DB: I have always been fascinated by how the mind works and the way people view and interact with the world. Everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive and to reach their full potential.  As a neuropsychologist, I have the honor of helping people, including neurodivergent young people, better understand the unique way their brain works – their ways of learning, relating with others, processing language and information, and understanding the world.  Society needs people who process and see things differently, have different strengths, and unique approaches to tackling complex problems. I believe neurodivergence makes the world a better place for us all.  

BF: How did you become involved with BroadFutures, and how do you see your work overlapping with the work we do? 

DB: Carolyn and I first met at the early stages of BroadFutures when the organization was just getting started. We immediately recognized we had a common purpose of supporting this community and have worked together since. I’ve had [a] focus on post-secondary transition, folks that, anywhere from 10th or 11th grade on through mid-20s, transition to, ‘how do I take charge of my life?’ ‘How do I make my way into the workforce?’. It’s enormously challenging making that switch from even at the college level, [and] I [have] spent so much time with folks that were enormously, exquisitely capable and couldn’t get a job, or they were grossly underemployed.

I think one of the things BroadFutures does is it recognizes the importance of a diverse workforce, not just from the standpoint of diversity…[but the] range of cognitive abilities that are out there as our society gets more and more complex, as the work needs get more and more complex. We desperately need different kinds of minds, people with different strengths, different abilities, and a lot of folks are sort of frozen out of that process because they can’t get through the front door…I think BroadFutures does a nice job of acknowledging that, supporting that on both ends.

BF: What are some common misconceptions about neurodiversity in the context of mental health, and how can we challenge those misconceptions in society? 

DB: I think a key misconception is that somehow these categories are non-overlapping. Virtually every human trait is on a continuum, [and] each person is a unique combination of traits. None of us are defined by diagnoses or our conditions. It is critical to take the time to get to know each person individually and to be extremely cautious about sweeping generalizations, [as] neurodivergence is just one aspect of a person’s identity. 

BF: What advice would you give to neurodiverse young people navigating new, and sometimes stressful work and life transitions?


  1. Self-advocate. Understanding and advocating for what you need to succeed is important. Allow others to support you by letting them know what your talents are and what you need to be successful.
  2. Know your limits and respect them. All of us have a limited capacity to cope – knowing what they are and respecting them allows us to succeed.  
  3. Have a person in your life that is your point-person to support you through life transitions and in the workplace. This could be a mentor, therapist, family member, or a partner.
  4. Your success is your responsibility – it is up to you to self-advocate and do the work necessary to achieve your goals.   
  5. Have realistic expectations of work – no job is perfect. In all jobs there are things that are uninteresting, undesirable, but still have to be done. Work to find a job and career path where the interesting parts of the job outweigh the other parts.
  6. Understand the importance of relationships in the workplace.  How you interact with your coworkers and supervisors matter. Forming good relationships at work will enhance your work experience and success.   

BF: How can we better support neurodivergent people’s mental health in the workplace, or as they prepare for the workplace?


  1. Understand and acknowledge that social, sensory, and communication needs vary from person to person. Strive to provide a work environment that works for everyone.
  2. Clear communication – explicit expectations help.
  3. Be curious – when there is a problem with meeting expectations, be curious about why and work collaboratively to problem solve.
  4. Regular check-ins (weekly, biweekly, monthly), lots of structure and accountability. 
  5. Explicit feedback – what are the expectations and how will the employee know if they are being met.
  6. As young people are transitioning to the workforce, it helps a lot if the immediate supervisor has a relationship with the employee and their mentor (point-person) to support them in developing the range of skills needed to navigate the workplace and work duties successfully. 
  7. If you invest in your employee and provide the support they need, that will be paid back 10-fold. Feeling valued will increase productivity and loyalty.   

BF: Looking ahead, what do you hope to see in terms of advancements in mental health awareness for neurodiverse people and support in general?

DB: The biggest thing that I run into with mental health providers that don’t routinely work with people that are neurodivergent, is they have presumptions about why they’re struggling, presumptions about sources of stress, sources of anxiety, sources of depression. And when those preconceptions aren’t challenged, then you end up working superficially. If, as mental health providers, we can be more curious about what [each] individual brain-based difference might [be], how that might be contributing to [someone’s] lived experience in a work environment, [then] there’s opportunities to make a bigger difference. 

April 2024 Newsletter


Save the Date! BroadFutures 2024 Fall Gala:

Voices for Change

A Warm Welcome to Our New Team Member

We are overjoyed to welcome Caitlin Garman to the BroadFutures team! Caitlin  serves as our Director of Admissions and Outreach, working to lead outreach efforts to recruit prospective interns and manage the admissions process for our programs.

Before coming to BroadFutures, Caitlin served as a clinical manager in a school based mental health program. She has extensive experience in schools as a teacher, social worker, and transition coordinator, and in particular with KIPP Charter Schools with whom we have a long partnership. Caitlin is committed to supporting young neurodivergent people to attain choice filled lives. Caitlin received her B.A. in Communications and Psychology from The George Washington University and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania

She is originally from Baltimore and currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and two children.

Booz Allen Hamilton Spotlights Neurodiversity

Booz Allen Hamilton spotlit former BroadFutures intern turned full-time consultant, Alexis Smith. We’re thrilled to see Alexis’ continued success at Booz Allen and we look forward to continuing to partner with the Booz Allen team to serve more neurodiverse young people.

Interested in Learning More about BroadFutures?

Join us for our monthly information session on May 30th at 12:00 pm to learn about our upcoming programs. Register below to attend!

Register Here

Young neurodivergent people have limitless potential.

Let’s unlock it.