Like the Super Hero he illustrated, Tyler Cronk is going places. Cronk, who has an Autism diagnosis, started participating in Living Resources’ Art Program 20 years ago and now works here full time as part of our communications/development team. In early 2020, the team collaborated to create a tee-shirt design for Living Resources participation in the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge. Tyler jumped into the project with zeal, incorporating the suggestions of his team together with his own signature flair. The design was ready to submit to the printer when the COVID pandemic erupted and the race was put on hold. Tyler is thrilled that, after two years, the design will be worn by his nearly 40-person team at the race which will take place tomorrow evening at the Empire State Plaza. He said, “It’s actually a really big honor. It’s really validating that my talents are being put to good use.”
Living Resources CEO Elizabeth Martin, states “Tyler is a valuable member of the Living Resources family and the development team, he not only brings his creativity expertise to work each day, he brings his heart and smile.” Cronk, who graduated from Cazenovia College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Illustration and Animation, says that folks should not feel ashamed about discussing their Autistic Spectrum diagnosis. He said, “If anything it can be a blessing- people on the spectrum are often very creative. Hopefully talking about it sparks interest for more individuals on the spectrum to want to work in this field, to have their voices be heard, and make a difference.” After all, as he added, “Having a disability is really just thinking different. As long as you get where you need to go, that’s all you can do.
The story of the long journey from artistic concept to tee shirt has an even happier ending. The Living Resources tee shirt won third place in the Workforce Challenge Tee Shirt Contest for “Most Motivational”! Cronk said, “That is so awesome that the T-Shirt design placed for an award! It was such a privilege to have helped design it, and to be a part of this great team and wonderful agency.”