Press Play to hear a little bit from some of our team about why your support is so important!

As of March 2020, we are now offering this program virtually through Zoom!

The Autism Tree Project Foundation relies upon the dedicated service of its volunteers and young interns to provide over 20 free community programs and 200 events every year. We are extremely grateful for their support and are always looking to bring on new interns, developing the next generation of community leaders. Thank you so much for your interest in our program and we hope that you intern with ATPF!

We accept applications on a rolling basis for all internships.


Collegiate Internships

Internship Focuses

Family Health & Wellness Internship

  • Help individuals on the spectrum and their families have enjoyable and beneficial experiences at ATPF events
  • Help professionals including but not limited to Child Psychologists, Speech Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Music Therapists run their ATPF programs
  • Work with ATPF research community partners to produce our Annual Neuroscience Conference

Non-Profit Management Internship

  • Help the Director of Development raise our annual budget by assisting in the production of events like the Annual Giving Tuesday Telethon
  • Help the CFO with writing funding grants
  • Assist in the development of new fundraising strategies

Community Outreach & Marketing Internship

  • Help run the ATPF Facebook and Instagram pages
  • Work with community partners to find areas where they can assist ATPF in executing our mission
  • Assist in the development of new outreach strategies

Event Management & Production Internship

  • Assist the ATPF team in producing over 200 events a year
  • Design promotional material for ATPF events
  • Lead Set Up & Tear Down of ATPF events

GARD (Global Autism Resource Database) Internship

  • Manage the development of the ATPF Global Autism Resource Database, our repository of families with individuals on the spectrum looking for support around the world
  • Will help connect families to appropriate regional service providers in their area that can address key concerns in a timely manner
  • Will work to develop online resources that GARD families can use regardless of location

All interns will assist the ATPF Team in any necessary capacity and will engage in work in other focuses.

What is needed to apply to be a Collegiate Intern?

  • A one page resume describing relevant experiences and skills
  • Two References or Letters of Recommendation
  • Short answers to the following questions:
    • What Internship Focus (if any) appeals to you and why? If none do, what do you want to focus on during your time at ATPF?
    • How can ATPF help you on your educational and professional journey?
    • What is one thing you want to learn from your time at this internship?
    • Why do you want to intern at the Autism Tree Project Foundation?

High School Internships & Middle School Developmental Internships

We love having high school and middle school interns! If you are interested in being a part of our internship program please do the following:

  • Download and complete the ATPF INTERN APPLICATION PDF (below)
  • A half page to one page cover letter explaining why you want to work as an intern for us
  • A resume that includes your skills, talents, and two references

International Internships

We love having interns from other countries bring their perspectives and passion to the Autism Tree Project Foundation. In previous years we have had superb interns from Germany, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and France. Interns should have enough of a grasp of the English language to effectively communicate with ATPF employees and families. We do not provide airfare, room or board but can recommend you to accommodations close to the ATPF office. Please fulfill all Collegiate Intern Application requirements.

ATPF Intern & Young Volunteer Awards

ATPF Honor Award - 50-100 hours

ATPF Community Award - 100-200 hours

ATPF Family Award- 200-499 hours

ATPF Ambassador Award - 500-999 hours

ATPF Unity Award - 1,000 hours

ATPF Empower Award - 2,000 hours

ATPF Inspire Award - 5,000 hours

ATPF CARES Award - 10,000 hours

How do I apply to become an ATPF Intern?

Applications should be submitted via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and should be titled "Internship Application". You will be contacted within 48 hours after your application is submitted to schedule an interview with an ATPF staff member. Interviews take place at the ATPF Office. If you are unable to meet at our office in Point Loma please let us know in your initial email and we will arrange a phone interview. You are expected to dress in business casual at the interview and during your time as an intern unless you are told otherwise. I hope that we get to work together to create brighter futures for children and families with autism!

Garret Hoff, Founder of the ATPF Intern & Young Volunteer Program

**If are you in High School or Middle School please fill out the PDF form below (Link labeled "ATPF Intern Application") and include it in your email to Director of Development, Lisa M. Kaufmann This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Operations Manager, Rebecca Barron This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. **

ATPF Intern Application

Internship Program FAQs

What tasks will all interns and volunteers be doing for the foundation?

In the office young volunteers and interns will be working on a range of tasks, such as assisting our Director of Development to sign up families for upcoming events, expand and manage our database, etc. ATPF runs over 200 events throughout the year that interns can work at (in and out of our office), providing much needed support and assistance to our core team. As an intern, you can choose from our on-going calendar which events and programs you would like to plug into.

What are the most important traits for an ATPF intern to have?

This foundation serves families with autism and their needs. We want our volunteers and interns to have a heart for our children and their families as well as patience and compassion. Everything else can be taught.

How does our foundation serve the community?

The Autism Tree Project Foundation provides 20 free programs and services to serve children and families with autism, specifically in San Diego and the Bay Area. It is highly encouraged that you explore the rest of our website and Facebook page that have specific details about each of our programs and on-going events. Another great way to learn about what we do if you are in San Diego is to come to one of our monthly core team meetings that we host at our office!

What is autism?

Autism is a developmental disorder that shows up when a child is an infant and affects social and communication skills. Autism is very broad. It is so broad that it can be called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) because every child and adult with autism spectrum disorder symptoms are not exactly the same. The newest statistic about autism is 1 in 50 school-age children according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and that statistic does not include preschoolers. To find out more about symptoms that children with Autism are likely to have, look at our website under the "About Autism" section or click this link to learn more.

ATPF is proud to partner with the following groups who provide on-going volunteer support to our 20 free programs and services!


boysteamcharity tvia logo

ATPF is proud to have had interns who are a part of these institutions of higher learning and have cultivated a heart connection between their school and ATPF!

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Intern Testimonials

Anlin Zhang

Anlin Zhang

Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Interning at ATPF last summer was a fun and insightful experience. Over the course of several weeks, I had the chance to learn about the ins and outs of ATPF as a nonprofit. I performed a variety of tasks, from calling ATPF families to encourage them to sign-up for upcoming events to volunteering at ATPF's Garden Exhibit at the Del Mar Fair. It was exciting to directly engage with families and children affected by Autism. Some of my favorite events were the LEGO Therapy Workshops and the Bridge to the Beach Family Day. At the Beach Day, it was rewarding to see the children so happy—playing with beach balls, making sandcastles, and face-painting. I'm grateful that I was a part of such amazing events, and I look forward to helping out in more. 

Brianna Gallardo

Brianna Gallardo

Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA

In the summer of 2018, I was a rising senior at Saint Joseph's University. I took on this internship position with the mindset of a marketer and without any prior experience with working with the autism community. However, my leadership experience and passion for the community allowed me to take on the role of a leader in a non-profit organization targeting autism. Throughout this internship, I was given the tasks of personally contacting families to invite them to our summer events, be on-site for events, as well as assisting in organizing monthly meetings with the core team. In addition, being on-site for the summer programs, like Bridge to the Beach Week that catered to 110 children, I had the opportunity to speak personally to each family. Their gratitude for our hard work in executing such powerful events became overwhelming and eye-opening to encounter. For this reason, speaking to these families and participating in the execution of these events, allowed me to grow in my awareness of the autism community and the valuable impact that this organization has on families. I am proud to say that this internship not only challenged me as a leader but gave me the opportunity to serve the community and become an advocate for autism awareness.   

Jacob Barham

Jacob Barham

University of San Diego, San Diego, CA

Interning at the Autism Tree Project Foundation has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. The program has inspired me to pursue a career in Special Education Law, something I wasn’t considering before. The best part about the internship program is the relationships that you build along the way. Rebecca and Lisa who run the show are amazing to work with and the atmosphere at the office is always positive and upbeat. The families that you get to interact with are truly inspiring and there is never a dull moment with the kids. My favorite event so far has been the 11th Annual Winter Wonderland event at the University of San Diego. Seeing all of the kids running around, playing with their toys, made me feel like I was a kid again. Nothing beats seeing the kids happy and enjoying life, as they should. Being a part of the ATPF family is something I appreciate, and it has changed my perspective on life. The positivity that flows is infectious, and you will always leave the office or an event in a better mood then when you arrived. It is a blessing to be a part of such a great cause!

Kat Greene

Kat Greene

Academy of Our Lady of Peace, San Diego, CA

My favorite event is Bridge to the Beach!

My favorite part of working with ATPF is the opportunity I have to make a positive impact on the world around me. Getting to see the effect that these programs have on families is an amazing experience and it makes all the work worth it! Each event is a ton of fun for the kids, the families, and the volunteers. I am also so grateful for the opportunities to meet kind, compassionate, hardworking and spirited people who put so much time and effort into helping make the world a better place.

Kyera Franklin

Kyera Franklin

Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA

Working as an Intern for four months to actively volunteering The Autism Tree Project Foundation has become a family to me. The staff are welcoming and have a passion for the work they do which makes the environment lively and loving. Nothing compares to the love and appreciation the foundation and families give their interns and volunteers. Being apart of ATPF has showed me the spirit of giving and receiving bundles of joy and smiles. I absolutely love every single child and family that I have encountered! Through this program I was able to create meaningful relationship with the families and other volunteers. My favorite events are the USD events particularly the football player mentor program! Watching the athletes interact with our families is an experience that I will never forget. The best part is hearing about how meaningful these relationships are in both the families and players lives. I  am very grateful for ATPF and the time I have spent with the foundation so far!

Rio Lacey

Rio Lacey

Point Loma High School, San Diego, CA

My favorite event is Bridge to the Beach Camp for the kids! This fun, activity-filled camo is just one among many of this great organization's programs. ATPF supports parents during their challenges while putting on effective and fun events that allow parents to relax and kids to enjoy themselves. It is so rewarding to help change children and their familie's lives and be able to watch this impact on the community at the same time. Not only do you form bonds with the kids and their parents, but with staff members that genuinely care about the cause and thier impact. I cherish my experience as a young intern and volunteer for ATPF because they care for you like you are family. It is an organization filled with compassionate people who have left an invaluable impact on my personality and life.