Natalie Dankner used to hate her job as an office assistant, but now she can’t wait to get to work.
Natalie has autism — and while the majority of autistic adults face unemployment, she has been working at Extraordinary Ventures for five years.
Extraordinary Ventures, a Chapel Hill nonprofit, creates small businesses around the skills of young adults with autism and developmental disabilities. The organization was founded in 2007 by a group of families who had children with developmental disabilities, mostly autism.
These families realized that there wasn’t much for their children to do after completing school, which is why they decided to start Extraordinary Ventures.
Van Hatchell, managing director for Extraordinary Ventures and a UNC alumnus and former walk-on for the men’s basketball team, said 40 people are currently employed by the organization. Hatchell said the organization hires through employment agencies.