DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., May 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Autism Community Ventures is excited to announce that its director, Dr. Maureen Dunne, has founded a unique program called "the Transition2Success Project" that offers transition grants and scholarships for high school seniors diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
"Transition services are still woefully underfunded," commented Dr. Dunne, a life-long autism advocate, Rhodes Scholar, and Oxford University PhD. "I have personally witnessed first-hand how important customized supports are in promoting the path to independence and success. This project is designed to fill an extremely important gap in transition services and to foster the talents and gifts of individuals with ASD who have so much to offer."
The transition scholarship and grant program awards $5,000 in targeted funding to qualified high school students. These funds are deployed to support a customized package of services designed to best help students on the autism spectrum successfully navigate a period often referred to as "the cliff" – the bridge year that begins during the final months of high school and covers the remainder of that year, whether that time is spent joining the work force or transitioning into the first year of a college education.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism spectrum disorders represent the fastest growing developmental disability as it has been estimated that 1 in 59 children are diagnosed.
"Those with autism age out of services when they graduate high school or reach age 22, whichever comes first," continued Maureen Dunne. "The Transition2Success Program was founded to give parents options when deciding on the right path for their child after high school. The scholarship starts before high school graduation but then follows the individual to the college and/or apprenticeship of choice. To my knowledge, this is the first program that offers a grant that specifically addresses the challenges of transition and offers a package of customized supports to successfully bridge from high school to college or work. Services are individualized but may include a package of supports such as counseling, access to mentors, social-skills training, assistive technology and skill-building workshops."
Nationally, the program has already partnered with family foundations, universities, companies, and local Rotary groups.
"I have been impressed by the level of interest from employers who want to partner with the program by offering apprenticeships to our awardees," remarked Dunne.
The first cohort of scholarship winners will be announced shortly. For more information, visit www.transition2success.org
Media contact: Catherine Spencer, PR@autismcommunityventures.org
SOURCE Autism Community Ventures