4 Students with Autism Receive College Scholarships; 34 Recipients in 5 Years

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Kerry Magro, an adult with autism and Founder/President of KFM Making a Difference (a New Jersey based non-profit corporation), announced his organization’s award of college scholarships to four young adults with autism; Benjamin N. Hays, Eleni Comstock, Eryn Lee and Margo McGeehan. With this latest round of scholarship awards, Kerry Magro and KFM have now awarded thirty-four (34) scholarships to students with autism in the last five years.

As many students with autism get ready for back-to-school, we celebrate their unique gifts through scholarships awarded by KFM Making a Difference, a non-profit organization that helps students with autism go to college. This year KFM is proud to award scholarships to Benjamin N. Hays (St. Lubbock, TX), Eleni Comstock (Pleasanton, CA), Eryn Lee (Jacksonville, AR) and Margo McGeehan (Douglassville, PA). These are KFM’s summer 2016 “Making a Difference for Autism Scholarship” winners!

“This was the first time we gave out summer scholarships to go along with our spring and fall Scholarship applications,” says Kerry Magro, founder and CEO of KFM Making a Difference. “Based on the donations received we were able to make this happen and give these students with autism support as they pursue a post-secondary education. We are excited to continue to follow their journeys as they continue to inspire our community…”

In fall of 2012, KFM Making a Difference launched its scholarship program. Thus far KFM has given out thirty-four (34) scholarships in total to help autistic adults to go to college. Kerry Magro, founder of KFM, is a producer of social media and digital content at Autism Speaks, a professionally certified motivational speaker, best-selling author, movie consultant and television talk show host. Kerry was diagnosed with autism at age four. Today, Kerry travels the country to share his story about autism and to support other autistic kids on their roads through life.

This year KFM asked each of the scholarship winners to share a message for students with autism who are currently hoping to attend a post-secondary program one day. This is what they had to say…

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“To other students with autism, work hard. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because most people are willing to help. Also, just because you have autism doesn’t mean you can’t succeed.” – Benjamin, majoring in Computer Science at West Texas A&M University, Class of spring 2020

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“To others, who are hoping to attend a post-secondary educational program one day, I will tell you this; it is possible. I know you might think that me saying “it is possible” just may be just about the lamest advice anyone has ever told you, but I urge you to not throw the advice away as a nothing. Just keep working hard, keep pushing through challenges, and try to remember me saying that “It Is Possible.” – Eleni, majoring in Industrial Engineering at Montana State University, Class of spring 2020

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“The road to achieving your dreams is never easy. You will encounter obstacles and difficulties along the way, and sometimes you will doubt yourself. However, if the path was easy, it would not truly be worth it. You have to challenge yourself; you have to face the difficulties. The arduous encounters, be it in regards to life or the path to achievement, are what make them worth it. In the end, you find yourself stronger than you ever were, and instead of thinking “I wish I could be that person”, you can finally say, “I am that person”. Much like a little bird, you have to fall before you fly; anything is possible, just believe that you can do it. As Albus Dumbledore says, “We must try not to sink beneath or anguish…but battle on.” – Eryn, majoring in Biology with a minor in Studio Art at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Class of spring 2018

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“For students with autism who want to eventually attend college, business school, or any type of post-secondary education, I want to tell them that despite what they may hear and may believe, they are more than capable of achieving any goals they set out for themselves. Even though society’s inherent able-centrism can make it difficult for disabled people to even receive the same rights as neuro-typical people, let alone the same opportunities, that doesn’t mean they aren’t able to make a difference in this world.” – Margo, majoring in Communication Studies at Kutztown University, Class of spring 2019

Today, according to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 68 children will be diagnosed with autism while more than 500,000 young individuals with autism will reach adulthood within the next decade. A few years ago U.S. News & World Report highlighted KFM Making a Difference as one of the only non-profits to give out scholarships to adults with autism in the U.S pursuing a post-secondary program.

The deadline for our next scholarship in the “2016 Fall Making a Difference for Autism Scholarship” will be Monday, December 5th at Midnight U.S Eastern Standard Time. You can find the application here.

This scholarship fund is funded entirely through the generous donations of members in our community. You can help their scholarship program moving forward by making a tax-deductible donation here.

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