30 Autistic Students Receive College Scholarships; 130 Recipients in 10 Years

(July 7, 2022) – Dr. Kerry Magro Ed.D., an autistic adult and Founder/President of KFM Making a Difference (a New Jersey-based nonprofit corporation), announced his organization’s award of college scholarships to thirty autistic adults, including:

Alyssa Aey (Wadsworth, OH), Portia Bowman (Newburgh, IN), Brooke Brockman (Elwood, NE) Madison Brooks (Richmond, TX), Thomas Coxwell (Thomasville, AL), Amythyst Morris (Kingsport, TN), Abigail Farnsworth (Walker, WV), Avery Hannon (Burlington, NJ), Lennon Hare (Brockport, NY), Maxwell Hutchinson, Mariah Kay Sample (Madison, WI), Grant Manier (Fond du Lac, WI), Nadia Montiel (CA), Veronica Nunez, Riley Justice (Erie, CO), Jerron Higgins (St. Louis, MO) Elizabeth Ogorek (Indianapolis, IN), Aidan Reynolds (Harwinton, CT), Jacob Thorton (Wake Forest, NC), Brandon Walters (Wilmington, OH), Zander Feist (Hanover Township, PA), Francine Wooley and scholarship recipients to be named later.

With this latest round of scholarship awards, Kerry Magro and KFM have now awarded one-hundred and thirty (130) scholarships to autistic students in the last 10 years.

Support our Nonprofit and our initiatives like our Autism Scholarship Program here.

This year KFM Making a Difference was able to give out thirty (30) scholarships for autistic students for college thanks in part to proceeds received from the nonprofit’s book Autistics on Autism: Stories You Need to Hear About What Helped Them While Growing Up and Pursuing Their Dreams which reached several Amazon best-seller lists. So with that, they could give thirty scholarships to some bright students on the autism spectrum. This was the most scholarships the nonprofit has ever announced in one year. Autistics on Autism was released on March 29, 2022, and featured the stories of 100 autistic adults, many of whom were previous KFM Making a Difference for Autism Scholarship Recipients.

“As an autistic child who dealt with many obstacles, I’m honored to be able to give back to our community in this way. When I started this scholarship program, I never imagined we’d get to the point of giving 130 scholarships to autistic students for college. Over 90 young autistic adults applied.” says Dr. Kerry Magro Ed.D., founder and CEO of KFM Making a Difference. “I always wish we could give even more scholarships each year, which is why our nonprofit needs to continue to receive donations to support these students.”

The thirty scholarship winners were accepted into the following colleges…

Miami University of Ohio. Cornell College, University of St. Thomas; Houston Community College in Houston, Lone Star College. The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Bowling Green State University, East Tennessee State University, Ashland University, Florida Southwestern, Florida Polytechnic, Temple University, and Rochester Institute of Technology, Alabama State University (ASU), West Chester University of Pennsylvania, University of Denver, Edgewood College, California State University Northridge, Moraine Technical Park College, California Lutheran University, Austin Community College, Eastern Kentucky University, Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis, The University of Findlay, Barrett the Honors College at Arizona State University, Tunxis Community College, Central Connecticut State University, Muskegon Community College. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Wilmington College, Luzerne County Community College, Illinois State University, and Marist College.

In Fall 2012, KFM Making a Difference launched its scholarship program. Thus far, KFM has given out one-hundred and thirty (130) scholarships to help autistic students attend college. Kerry Magro, the founder of KFM, is a professional speaker, best-selling author, and movie consultant. Kerry was nonspeaking till 2.5 and 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. Among the topics Kerry discusses are the power of communication, disabilities in the workplace, bullying prevention, the transition to adulthood for those with disabilities, how to succeed in school with a disability, and much more! Recently Kerry has spoken at over 1150 events over the past 11 years, including being one of the first people on the autism spectrum to ever give a ‘Talks at Google.’ He gives talks as part of student assemblies, educator staff development, and professional development, along with keynote and breakout sessions

Today, according to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 44 children are diagnosed with autism, while more than 700,000 young autistic children 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 nonprofits to give out scholarships to autistic adults pursuing a post-secondary program in the U.S.

Their next scholarship application will be available in 2023, which you can apply for now here. You can make a tax-deductible donation here to help them continue to give out this scholarshiphttps://kfmmakingadifference.org/donate/. If you are interested in learning more about Kerry’s background or sending him a media/speaker inquiry, you can contact him anytime here. You can purchase a copy of Autistics on Autism here.

11 Tips for Students With Autism Who Are Going to College

This guest post is by Kerry Magro, CEO and Founder of KFM Making a Difference. 


College can often be a difficult transition for those on the autism spectrum. When I was growing up on autism spectrum, getting into college was my first big dream. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m currently pursuing my doctoral degree.

I wanted to share 11 questions I frequently get asked by from students on the autism spectrum who are pursuing a post-secondary education.

1. As a college student affected by autism, what is one of the main things I need to know?

A big difference between college and high school is that in high school you generally have a structured plan for your accommodations called an individualized education program (IEP). However, in college that no longer exists, so you must advocate to your disability support group on campus to receive your own accommodations

2. What are some accommodations I can receive in my classes?

Individuals on the spectrum receive accommodations only if they register with their disability support group. They will then receive accommodations based on their needs. This can include extended time on tests, tape recorders for classes, individual note takers, etc.

3. Do I have to pay for accommodations?

Under The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, colleges are required to provide all learning disabled individuals with “reasonable accommodations.” However, you should check the guidelines inregards to what is and what is not available on your campus.

4. Will faculty or fellow students be informed that I am on the autism spectrum?

Faculty members are not allowed to disclose any information about a student to others without consent from the student. However, students must register as a “disabled student” to receive accommodations, meaning your disability support group would be aware you have a disability. It is then up to you to inform your instructors.

5. Is on-campus living for me?

Accommodations can also factor into your living arrangements on campus. For example, you may have an opportunity to have a single room if needed. Ask if your resident assistant will be made aware of your living situation, since he/she can be of help in an emergency.

6. Will tutoring be available for my courses?

Most colleges provide tutoring for all students, but it’s important to learn about those services early on to see if it is available and if you need additional support.

7. Are there any restrictions on how many courses I can take?

Some disability support groups require you take less courses in your first few semesters of college to make for an easier transition.

8. Is there a club on campus that raises awareness about autism and provides social opportunities for students affected by autism?

Autism Speaks’ college program, Autism Speaks U, works with students across the county to start chapters that raise awareness and funds. Some also establish mentoring programs for students and youth on the autism spectrum. To see if a chapter exists on your campus, visit www.AutismSpeaks.org/U.

9. Will my professors have any previous training in educating individuals affected by autism?

There is no requirement at most college for professors to have education in teaching
individuals with learning disabilities
. You should be prepared to advocate for yourself when a situation deems itself appropriate to do so.

10. Will I be treated differently by fellow students because I have autism?

Like in any other situation where you are around people, there is the possibility of a lack of awareness on their part in dealing with people with learning disabilities. Therefore, spreading awareness is crucial for you and others affected by autism.

11. Is there anything on campus that focuses on post-college plans for individuals affected by autism?

Many colleges have a career program/center that focuses on helping you network with outside companies. You can also look under the Americans with Disabilities Act for information about job accommodations and workshops.

I wish all the incoming students with autism a wonderful college experience! Have fun, study hard and remember each day what you are working to achieve. That’s the key more than anything else to succeed and thrive in college.

In 2015, I contributed a chapter to a book called “College for Students with Disabilities: We Do Belong” that shares the experience of several individuals with disabilities who have successfully navigated a post-secondary education and graduated. You can learn more about the book here.