- First Place: Thomas John Albero of Northport, New York
- First Runner Up: Jacob Eric Brinton of Highland, Utah
- Second Runner Up: David James Etherage of Olympia, Washington
Upon hearing that he won the scholarship, Thomas Albero said, “Thank you so much. I am so honored, and this will make a difference.” In his personal statement, Thomas wrote, “I don't let people's perception of special education students define me, I know we have infinite possibilities.”
Jacob Brinton shared his excitement. “I still can't believe that I was a winner! All my brothers were cheering in the car when I called and told them.”
John Cronin co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks, said, “I am so happy for the winners. We received so many great entries.”
The scholarship celebrates the achievements of people with autism and shines a light on their abilities. The scholarship 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.
David Etherage said, “We were searching for scholarships that would apply for a person like me, a person with autism. I was so happy to see this scholarship.”
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 a key component in our mission to show what people with differing abilities can do. The winners – a digital designer and software engineer, a pre-law student and pre-med student – 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.
The first-place winner, Thomas Albero 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, Thomas is now a world-class sock designer. Thomas will attend Drexel University in the fall. John and Mark of John's Crazy Socks surprised Thomas with the announcement at his Boy Scout Troop meeting.
As the first runner up, Jacob Brinton will receive a $2,500 scholarship that he will use when he attends Utah State. Second runner up David Etherage will receive a $1,000 scholarship that he will use when he enrolls at the University of Florida.
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 www.flutiefoundation.org.
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 webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.