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Autism Speaks awards $155,000 in scholarship funding to help people with autism pursue opportunities

Brian & Patricia Kelly Postsecondary Scholarships awarded to ten institutions nationwide.

NEW YORK, N.Y. (February 25, 2016) — Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, today announced the recipients of its Brian & Patricia Kelly Postsecondary Scholarship funds. Ten institutions and programs were awarded a total of $155,000, which will help to provide educational opportunities for young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Approximately one-third of young people with ASD now attend college, a far cry from a decade ago, when postsecondary education for young adults on the spectrum was widely considered unattainable. As the average age of ASD diagnosis declines, and access to treatment improves, the accomplishments of children and young adults with autism continue to exceed prior expectations, contributing to an increase in postsecondary opportunities.

To be eligible for the Postsecondary Scholarship funding, programs or institutions were required to identify qualified students or clients with ASD to receive individual scholarships of up to $5,000 with a maximum of $25,000 per program. Grants were awarded based on how the college, technical, vocational or transition program conducts outreach to potential scholarship recipients and prepares them for post-college life.

"We want to congratulate our scholarship fund recipients,” said Lisa Goring, Autism Speaks executive vice president of programs and services. “Postsecondary programs that provide more opportunities for education and enhanced quality of life are essential for young adults with ASD.” 

2016 Brian & Patricia Kelly Postsecondary Scholarship Fund Recipients:

  • Arcadia University REAL Certificate (Glenside, PA)
  • Skills, Training & Education for Personal Success Program (STEPS)  at Austin Community College (Austin, TX)
  • Have Dreams Academy at Have Dreams (Park Ridge, IL)
  • University of Missouri-St. Louis SUCCEED Program (St. Louis, MO)
  • Chapel Haven Asperger Syndrome Adult Transition Program: Lending a Hand (New Haven, CT)
  • ASD Affinity Program at Defiance College (Defiance, OH)
  • First Place Transition Academy at First Place Arizona (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Northstar Career Academy at Northstar Academy (Richmond, VA)
  • Winthrop Think College at Winthrop University (Rock Hill, SC)
  • Vista Transition Program at Vista Vocational and Life Skills Center (Westbrook, CT)

The Brian & Patricia Kelly Postsecondary Scholarship Fund was launched in July 2013. To date, $704,000 has been awarded to 27 institutions nationwide.  

In conjunction with the Scholarship Fund, Autism Speaks offers a Postsecondary Educational Opportunities Guide to provide people with autism and their families an inside look at types of learning environments, educational institutions, transition programs and support services.

To learn more about Autism Speaks’ resources on topics including the transition to adulthood, housing and employment, visit