John’s Crazy Socks Announces the Winners of the Fifth Annual “Autism Can Do” Scholarship

John’s Crazy Socks along with co-sponsors the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism and Rangam announced the winners of this 2023 Autism Can Do Scholarship. They are: 

  • First Place: Gracie Earley of Kiefer, Oklahoma
  • First Runner Up: Holly Connor of Clayton, Missouri
  • Second Runner Up: Avery Parsley, of El Dorado, Kansas

We are pleased to announce that the recipient of this year’s $5,000 scholarship is Gracie Earley from Kiefer, Oklahoma. Her winning Cowabunga! sock design had us all smiling. Gracie says, "I am an artist. I love making art and telling stories with positive messages." She loves learning and is excited to go to college.

Gracie Earley has been accepted to Tulsa Community College. As the first-place winner, Gracie will not only receive a $5,000 scholarship, but John’s Crazy Socks will produce the socks she designed and will sell them in their online store. Thus, Gracie is now a world-class sock designer. A portion of the sale of these socks will help fund next year's Autism Can Do Scholarship. 

Gracie Earley and Cowabunga! Sock Design


The winner of the $2,500 scholarship is Holly Connor of Clayton, Missouri who submitted a design with both the sighted and braille alphabets. Her goal is to raise awareness and to teach braille in a fun way. Holly tells us, "Being born blind and autistic, my hope is by sharing my story and being involved within the community, I will continue to create and expand awareness, inclusion, and acceptance for all within The Arts. I will use the funds to pay for tuition and adapted equipment I need in order to succeed in college."

Holly Connor and Braille Sock Design


Avery Parsley, of El Dorado, Kansas will receive a $1,000 scholarship for her sock design, inspired by her dream of becoming an astronaut. Avery says, "As an astronomy student I really love space, so I wanted to do one of my favorite things for the sock design, which is watching rocket launches. I chose to do a space shuttle because that’s one of my favorite NASA projects, and the moon is a reference to the Apollo Program. Avery will be attending the University of Kansas.

Avery Parsely and Rocket Launch Sock Design


John Cronin, co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks, said, “I am so happy for the winners. I loved so many of the sock designs.”

The scholarship celebrates the achievements of people with autism and shines a light on their abilities. The scholarships for autistic students is open to people with autism who reside in the United States and Canada. Applicants must submit a sock design and a personal statement. The three winners were selected from over 200 entries.  

Nick Savarese, Executive Director of the Flutie Foundation, said, “We applaud all three winners of this scholarship. We know what people with autism can achieve and we want to help others to reach their fullest potential.” 

Rangam CEO and Co-founder Nish Parikh said, “The Autism Can Do Scholarship program is a step in the right direction to promote sustainable employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for diverse talent. Rangam is honored to be able to support this great initiative.”

Mark X. Cronin, Co-founder at John’s Crazy Socks, said, “The Autism Can Do Scholarship" is an autism scholarship that is a key component in our mission to show what people with differing abilities can do. The winners – all future college students – demonstrate the range of what people with autism can do.”

The John’s Crazy Socks “Autism Can Do” Scholarship presents $8,500 in scholarships to a person on the autism spectrum in the United States or Canada to use at a college or trade school. It is co-sponsored by the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism and Rangam. To win the scholarship, applicants completed a brief form, submitted a personal statement and designed a pair of socks. A selection panel that included people with autism and representatives from all three sponsor organizations, carefully reviewed the more than 200 applications before selecting the winner.

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. The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism and Rangam joined as sponsors because the scholarship fits with their mission of empowerment and supporting people with autism.   

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    

About Rangam

Rangam is a minority-, woman-, and disability-owned workforce solutions company with a mission to promote "Employment for Everyone," including people with disabilities, autism, and neurodivergence, in addition to service veterans. The organization delivers innovative workforce solutions by designing an integrated and inclusive recruiting methodology. Rangam specializes in attracting and retaining talent globally for IT, Engineering, Scientific, Clinical, Healthcare, Administrative, Finance, and Business Professionals categories.

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 with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. With more than 4,000 socks, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $500,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, they are Spreading Happiness™.

For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpageFacebook pageInstagram account or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at