We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason San Souci, GISP and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jason, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
We learned about the lack of job training programs for transitioning autistic adults, all the statistics stacked against this population, and knew that we had to help. At the same time, the drone industry was showing exponential growth with a massive demand for workforce resources. Putting these worlds together just made sense, so we started to develop a best-in-class job training program designed for neurodiverse students.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I only took one class in Remote Sensing at the US Air Force Academy, but I’ve spent nearly 20 years as a remote sensing and GIS scientist. My path was anything but easy, but I have been able to travel the world and work on some amazing projects. I’ve mapped chimpanzee habitat in Africa with Jane Goodall, supported coalition forces in Afghanistan as an airborne intelligence expert, protected crops in several countries by analyzing threats using drone and satellite imagery, worked with Native American communities to better manage natural resources with GIS, and many more projects. I’ve learned that sharing information is very powerful.
While researching autism for our nonprofit, I started to realize that I may be autistic. I’ve always been “different” and labeled as “goofy” and that has been a challenge. I finally went to a neurologist and was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It was good to finally know what made me different and it added a new perspective for everything in my life and connected me to the population that we were trying to help.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’d inevitably start with breakfast at the Moonlight Diner on Tower Road near the airport. They have some of the best servers in town. I know that I’d grab my drone and we’d head to the mountains for a hike to some spectacular views. Lunch would be at Lariat Lodge Brewery in Evergreen to fuel up on Hog N Fritters and Gogmagog. I love live music and one of the best places to go is Levitt Pavilion at Ruby Hill Park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to shout-out my fiancée, Nicole Corder. She is a fierce Autism Mom and non-profit advocate dedicated to providing a rewarding life for her son, Blake. She is my inspiration.