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NECC and Hamilton: Celebrating 25 Years of Partnership for Autism Education


When Kimberly Wysocki Keogh graduated from Hamilton in 1990 with a psycho-biology major, she didn’t know much about autism. She had moved back home to Massachusetts and was looking for work when she responded to an advertisement for The New England Center for Children® (NECC®). Keogh has worked there ever since. “I enjoy the work and collaboration,” Keogh says. “I’ve had an incredible number of opportunities at The New England Center.” 

NECC was founded in 1975 by Vincent Strully ’69 to help children with autism. With the success of NECC, Strully wanted to give back to the school and contribute to greater growth in the field. He began what became Hamilton’s prestigious internship in 1994, in which Hamilton students spend a semester at NECC working with children with autism and taking courses at Western New England University or Simmons University.

I love to hear what they’re doing. It’s a wonderful opportunity to hear how they’ve moved along with their career, how they’ve taken what they’ve learned to their own communities.

The program gives students college credit and hands-on experience, and will be celebrating its amazing 25th anniversary at Reunions ’19 with a reception and panel, currently scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, at the Taylor Science Center. “There will be current staff members who have gone through the internship a number of years ago attending the panel,” Keogh says. “We’re looking forward to being able to talk about this collaboration.” The reception will include discussion of current autism treatments and resources, as well as the training that NECC has been able to provide to people beginning in this field.

Reunions '19: JUNE 6-9

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As with all things Hamilton, at the heart of the program’s success is the human connection. Keogh looks forward to reconnecting with Hamilton alumni who went through the NECC semester. “I love to hear what they’re doing,” Keogh says. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to hear how they’ve moved along with their career, how they’ve taken what they’ve learned to their own local communities.” She’s glad, too, that the NECC connection continues to thrive. “I mean, we’re competing with semesters abroad in Italy,” Keogh says. “Students have incredible opportunities to go places, and with all of that, it has continued to be a really strong program. Which we think is a win-win for everyone involved.”

If you’ve been a part of the inspiring work at NECC, join us at Reunions ’19 to celebrate this milestone and reconnect with your fellow NECC alumni.

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