Home  /  About   /   News & Updates

Grade 12 student develops business venture to raise awareness of autism


Photo credit: Natasha Evangelista

Natasha Evangelista is a Grade 12 student at the Etobicoke School of the Arts. She’s also an entrepreneur and the founder of Art-toons, a t-shirt design company she developed to promote the abilities of children with autism. Natasha was inspired to launch the business venture after getting a glimpse at entrepreneurship in the Dragons’ Nest program, which was integrated into her Grade 11 business course. Here is what she had to say about her experience.

I have created a company called Art-toons, which is a cartoon t-shirt business for autism awareness. In Grade 11 I applied for a grant through the Vaughan Summer Company program. I came up with my idea after I saw some of the cartoon drawings my brother had created. My brother Joshua is 15 years old and he has autism and the cartoons he created each display a different feeling or emotion. A portion of my proceeds goes to an autism organization. My favourite part of this experience had to be being able to start my own company and the entire process of it. I loved being able to have a mentor and I made many connections with business people which is something that I never imagined myself doing. From this program and my experiences I learned a lot about sales and being able to talk to people. Before Summer Company I was not as confident talking in front of people but this opportunity taught me a lot about selling and being able to know marketing at a young age. Overall, I am very happy that I took that business course in Grade 11 which gave me the opportunity to apply and have the right skills to be accepted into an amazing program that not only gave me a great summer but business skills and memories that I will never forget.