EC Assistant Teacher
Austen’s passion for EC started when he was introduced to his cousin that would be diagnosed with autism. Through the years of having a cousin with autism and being involved with him fostered Austen's curiosity of working with students with disabilities. In High School, Austen was always curious about how he could help his community, especially ones with disabilities and how to become their advocates. As he dove more into details about some things he could do to be a part of that community, he volunteered for “Walk for Autism”, became a “Special Olympics Buddy”, and even worked at Crisis Centers, as well as a Behavioral Health Clinic for higher needs children. Austen grew up in between the two cities, Martinsburg and Hedgesville, West Virginia. Austen would later fly all the way up to Anchorage, Alaska and lived there for a year. After that year, Austen would soon be in the mountains after visiting and the mountains called for him to stay.
Before coming to FernLeaf, Austen worked for an RHA agency company for higher needs children for extra help with communication, social behavior, and therapy needs for improvement and excellence. While traveling with this company to multiple counties in North Carolina, Austen would learn so many new things about different disabilities such as; triggers, coping skills, behaviors, social and emotional feelings and behaviors, and knowledge of ways of different communicative strategies.
Austen currently has a minor in Spanish translation and affairs and is majoring as we speak in Pre-Med at Eastern Tennessee State University (We are almost to the finish line)! Austen has had the opportunity to get to work with locals of El Salvador to do a workshop for shadowing their medical practices and medicine and as well as this summer traveling to Switzerland for the same thing in medical practices and medicine. When Austen is not busy with all the amazing EC kiddos, you can find him hiking adventurous trails, traveling on the road, or finding new experiences to learn and prosper from.