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Amy DePalma


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My life goal is to reduce unemployment in adults with autism by building and expanding businesses that employ young adults with developmental disabilities.


Campo Verde High School

High School
2020 - 2024


  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Business Supplies and Equipment

    • Dream career goals:

    • Head of Kitchen

      Not Your Typical Deli Workforce
      2018 – 20235 years



    2020 – 20222 years


    • Ceramics
      2020 – 2023

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Gilbert Softball Little League — Assistant Coach to AllStar Team, catching coach, mentor
      2021 – Present

    Future Interests


    Marian Haley Memorial Scholarship
    My life goal is to reduce unemployment in adults with disabilities. My older brother Daniel was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 years old. This would eventually become the seed for an idea that my parents came up with roughly eight years ago after discovering his love for his culinary class in high school. An old-school, family-style Italian deli that specializes in employing young adults with autism, down syndrome, and other developmental disabilities. Currently, the unemployment rate for adults with autism is over 70%. At the time we were able to open the doors to Not Your Typical Deli, I was 11 years old. Soon after, just over 70% of our staff was autistic or otherwise disabled. Over my seven years of working with a staff like this, I am blessed to say I was able to see the impact that our little shop had made. Many of our employees did not think they would ever have a job, graduate high school, or be able to handle the large crowds of people. Over time, we saw these same employees go to college, move out on their own, and find better, higher-paying, and more demanding jobs. Many of them credit the deli in news stories and articles for pushing them out of their comfort zone and opening up their eyes to a more independent life. Their love for routine and consistency is something that makes them extremely capable workers, so long as they are given the opportunity. Unfortunately, my family owned the business with two other partners who since have left, and we were forced to close down. Having to tell our employees that we were closed was one of the worst things I've ever experienced. Because of this, I am determined to work not for my family, but with my family to start back up and change lives again. As of right now, we still have a program where we educate, train, and redirect employees to other full-time jobs at golf courses and concession stands at sports fields. This is what I am dedicated to doing for the rest of my life. I hope to not only begin a new restaurant but to expand and build multiple locations, where hopefully we will be able to help start reducing numbers nationwide. As a first-generation college student, my education means that I will be able to greatly contribute to our purpose and show the world that these employees are more than capable of shaping the future.