In honor of Autism Awareness Month, we caught up with Benjamin Dircks, our former Kitchen Steward student. Well-loved by many at CALV for his friendly personality and sense of humor, Ben found the same support from his team at the Bronze Café. “They’re very nice people. They treat me with well respect,” Ben said.

After graduating from CALV, Ben interned at the café, quickly moving up to take on more responsibilities. Ben’s mom, Madeleine, says she’s proud to watch him grow on this journey. “He’s really come far. I mean, he graduated from the program at the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, and he was so proud he got his Food Handler Safety Card on the first try. He had an internship here with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, and then they hired him about six months ago,” Madeleine said.

She hopes Ben’s story will inspire others with Autism Spectrum Disorder to reach their full potential. “Everybody’s different on the spectrum, but there really are no limits,” Madeleine said.

Let’s Chat!