John’s Crazy Socks has announced that Brandon Cheng, 19, of Wilmington, Massachusetts, has won the Second Annual “Autism Can Do” Scholarship. Mr. Cheng will use the funds to continue his studies at Assumption University. This year’s scholarship was co-sponsored by the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism.
Upon hearing that he won the scholarship, Mr. Cheng said, “Receiving the Autism Can Do Scholarship is a great honor. I am thankful for this opportunity.”
John Cronin, co-founder and Chief Happiness officer at John’s Crazy Socks, said, “We are so excited for Brandon. He won the scholarship with a great sock design and his passionate commitment for making a difference in the world for people on the autism spectrum.”
Nick Savarese, Executive Director of the Flutie Foundation, said, “We applaud Brandon Cheng for winning this scholarship. We know what people with autism can achieve and we want to help others to reach their fullest potential.”
Brandon Cheng is a rising sophomore at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has been accepted into the Assumption University Honors Program and earned a place on the Dean’s List. Brandon is active in the ALANA (Diversity Club), Ballroom Dance Club and Art Club. He hopes to one day become a university professor.
The John’s Crazy Socks ”Autism Can Do” Scholarship presents a $5,000 scholarship to a person on the autism spectrum in the United States or Canada to use at a college or trade school. To win the scholarship, Brandon completed a brief form, submitted a personal statement and designed a pair of socks. Brandon designed dragon socks inspired by the floats in Chinese New Year parades. A seven-person selection panel carefully reviewed the more than 100 applications before selecting the winner. Brandon will not only receive a $5,000 scholarship, but John’s Crazy Socks will produce the socks he designed and will sell them in their online store. Thus, Brandon Cheng is now a world-class sock designer.
John’s Crazy Socks created the “Autism Can Do” Scholarship as part of its Giving Back Program and its mission to show what people can do when given a chance. More than half the employees at John’s Crazy Socks have a differing ability and many of them are on the autism spectrum.
Mark X. Cronin, John’s Dad and co-founder said, “we sponsor the Autism Can Do Scholarship to celebrate people with autism, to offer encouragement and to highlight for the world what people on the autism spectrum can achieve. We want to help Brandon’s dreams come true.”
John’s Crazy Socks and the Flutie Foundation will hold a scholarship presentation ceremony in Massachusetts at a later date. At that time, John and Mark X. Cronin, the co-founders of John’s Crazy Socks, will present Mr. Cheng with his scholarship as well as a dozen of the socks he designed.
About John’s Crazy Socks
John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise built on four pillars:
- Inspiration and Hope: We hire people with differing abilities, share videos to show what people can do, host school tours and school groups that come for work experience. We want the world to see what people with differing abilities can do.
- Giving Back: We donate 5 percent of our earnings to the Special Olympics and raise money through our Sock of the Month Club and charity and awareness socks for our charity partners like Autism Speaks, the Autism Society of America, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Williams Syndrome Association. We have raised more than $360,000 for our charity partners and publish a monthly Giving Back Report.
- Socks You Can Love: We have over 2,000 different socks plus a Sock of the Month Club, gift boxes and gift bags. And our selection is matched by our customer service: Most customers receive their socks within two days of ordering.
- Making It Personal: Every package gets a thank-you note from John and some candy.
Doug Flutie. Jr Foundation for Autism
The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism has a mission to help people and families affected by autism live life to the fullest. The Foundation wants to create a world where people with autism lead productive lives where they are included, respected, and actively engaged in their communities.
Flutie Foundation programs and activities improve the quality of everyday life for people and families affected by autism along seven key dimensions that are critical to living each day fully. They aim to provide a path for education and/or employment during the day; opportunities for physical and social activity outside of work/school; and the tools to be safe, supported, and always informed. To learn more about the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism please visit their website www.flutiefoundation.org.