YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For 25 years, the Rich Center for Autism has been working to spread awareness through education and treatment of Autism for thousands of people across the Valley.

They celebrated their students, families and how far they’ve come with a Gala at the Eastwood Event Center yesterday.

33 WYTV anchor Lindsey Watson was honored to be the emcee of the event and spoke with the executive director of the Rich Center, Dr. Gregory Boerio.

People shared their experiences with the Rich Center and how it has impacted them. 

“The Rich Center has touched the lives of thousands of individuals with autism and their families over the last 25 plus years. So to be able to gather together tonight with the community and celebrate with the Kosar, Rubino, and Ricchiuti families, and everything they did to create the rich center and establish the rich center, it’s an honor.” 

The center is a part of Youngstown State University and utilizes educational research for students with Autism.

“We have this unique opportunity and have had for 25 years to focus on what the best practices are, what those ideal therapies are, and what’s going to work better for individuals with autism,” Boerio said. “Dive deep into research and work with faculty, individuals from our local community and state and, quite honestly, the autism community nationally and internationally in order to determine best practices.”

“Right there in our logo you see our mission spelled out. At the forefront of that is education, and for 25 years we’ve been focused on the education of individuals with autism and continue to be centered around that in a very purposeful and intentional way,” he said.

The Rich Center looks forward to continuing there work for people with autism. They are thankful for everyone who has helped them grow over the last 25 years.

“We learned so much in terms of what we’re capable of,” he said. “In doing so, we’re going to dive deep into using some different technology regarding social and independent living skills. We’re going to have a lot to share with the community down the pike as we get into the school year.”