MOVIA Robotics, Inc. has been a long-time advocate of inclusivity by creating innovative robotic assistive technology to help children on the learning spectrum. The company also supports inclusion in its hiring decisions and recently welcomed local student Josias Reynoso as an intern.

Josias brings to MOVIA determination and leadership skills. He’s been involved with the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol, where he helped run science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities, including robotics and coding. And, in October 2020, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America recognized him as its National Youth of the Year.

Josias is currently pursuing STEM education at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). As a youth on the autism spectrum with a passion for teaching, he hopes to help others by sharing his personal growth experience.

MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price spoke with Josias about how and why he became involved with MOVIA Robotics.

NAN PRICE: Is it important for you to grow and build your career here in Connecticut?

JOSIAS REYNOSO: I was born in Queens, NY and I lived in Pennsylvania. My family moved to Connecticut when I was about 11, which is when I was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. We’ve been here ever since.

I’ve been all around the Bristol/Farmington area. I love helping people and finding ways to be useful in my community. I’ve been involved at my local Boys & Girls Club for the past four years, which is what gave me the platform to become National Youth of The Year. There are a lot of cool things going on in my community, so it’s certainly for the better that I stayed here in Connecticut.

NAN: How does this internship with MOVIA align with your future goals?

JOSIAS: MOVIA is a great marriage between technology and my passion for teaching kids, especially those on the spectrum. I’m functioning in the role of educator and learning about how to facilitate lessons using MOVIA’s Kebbi educational robot. So, I haven’t started working directly with kids through MOVIA yet. I’m getting more of an angle about what parents are looking for, how to best serve kids, and how this technology is being used and implemented to help kids on the spectrum.

I’ve also been involved with some customer training. I enjoy seeing how this tool can bridge the gap between kids on the spectrum and neurotypical kids, because I really feel school systems need that connection between different types of kids.

I’m going to be co-piloting a program through the Bristol Boys & Girls Club and Imagine Nation to use Kebbi in different situations. It’s a process, but we’re getting somewhere and I hope to be more involved with this platform for kids on the spectrum so we can inspire them to feel empowered and responsible.

NAN: How did you become involved with MOVIA?

JOSIAS: Michael Suchopar, former President and CEO of the Bristol Boys & Girls Club, introduced me to MOVIA’s Vice President of Sales Muniba Masood and CEO Jean-Pierre “JP” Bolat. I learned about what MOVIA was doing and I thought it was awesome. I love the use of technology to help kids on the spectrum. I started asking questions and trying to find ways I could become involved.

NAN: Do you have any advice for others as far as getting involved with internships?

JOSIAS: Ask questions and get as involved as you can. Talking to people to find out how you can fit at a company will help you make a bigger impact and feel more connected to what you’re doing.

NAN: From your perspective, do you have any advice for companies seeking interns?

JOSIAS: Definitely to be more inclusive. So many young adults on the spectrum are very capable and would love to help and work. If companies are willing to be more inclusive, appreciate everyone’s differences, and form those bonds, it will make the world a much better place.

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MOVIA Robotics intern Josias Reynoso (photo courtesy Maring Visuals)
MOVIA Robotics Kebbi robot