by Catherine Butryn
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 there full time as part of their development team. Living Resources’ mission is to support and empower individuals with disabilities or other life challenging conditions to live with dignity, independence, and happiness.
In early 2020, Cronk’s team asked him to create a design for their Workforce Team Challenge t- shirt. He jumped into the project with zeal, incorporating the suggestions of his team 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, his design will be worn by his nearly 40-person team. He said, “It’s actually a 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. As 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.”