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Project Reach

Project REACH Overview

Project REACH: Resources and Education on Autism as CUNY’s Hallmark is a university-wide project funded by the FAR Fund created to enhance CUNY’s capacity to support its growing population of autistic college students and to educate faculty and staff about autism.

At the core of CUNY’s mission is to provide affordable and accessible higher education opportunities to all students, especially those who have historically not had access to higher education opportunities — like autistic students.


Dr. Kristen Gillespie-Lynch, Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of Project REACH at CSI, is partnering with the Education Develop Center’s (EDC) and NYU’s IDEAS Maker Program, through a $1.3M grant from the National Science Foundation entitled, Making Mentors: Enhancing Access to STEM Careers for Autistic Youth through Mentorship Programs and Makerspaces. Visit CSItoday for details.

Visit EDC and the IDEAS Maker Program website and a video for information.

For more information, please contact the Program Director, Kristen Gillespie-Lynche


Services that Project REACH Provides:

  • One-on-One Mentoring
    • peer mentorship tailored to individual student needs
    • allows students to engage with a trusted peer to develop skills
    • training focuses on building equality and modeling 
  • Group Mentoring:
    • Creates a diverse and accepting community where students can practice skills
    • There are two meetings a week: Creative Exploration (Tuesday) and Skills  Development (Thursday) lead by two autistic mentors
Aerial Shot Of Students On Alumni Walk Facing the Library

Participatory Autism and UD training for faculty

Contact Information

Kristen Gillespie-Lynch

Program Director

Building 4S Room 103
Email Kristen Gillespie-Lynch

Catherine Messina

Project REACH Coordinator

Email Catherine Messina

Disability Services

555 W. 57th Street

New York, NY 10019
Email Disability Services
Students at Project Reach Pizza Party

A group of mentees and mentors from the Building Bridges Project REACH Program, a mentorship program for neurodivergent students at CSI, celebrated their accomplishments this year with their first in-person pizza party since the beginning of the pandemic.  Visit CSIToday for details.

“REACH helped me, because it made me more confident. It made me understand more what autism was, and that made me more relaxed and more able to participate in class.”

- Nick, Project REACH participant

Project REACH helped me build my confidence, not only as a student who benefited from its services, but as a mentor, teaching other students leadership skills,”

  • Jin, Project REACH participant and then mentor. Leader of the Skills Development meetings

During my first two years at Project REACH, I have learned how to form healthy relationships, autism awareness, and even school assistance.

            -Wisdom, Project REACH participant