John’s Crazy Socks Announces the Winners of the Sixth 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 2024 Autism Can Do Scholarship. They are: 

  • First Place: Lukeson Ashbourne of Maplewood, New Jersey
  • First Runner-Up: Emrys Alfaro Haugen of Olympia, Washington
  • Second Runner-Up: Elyse Miller of Farmington Hills, Michigan

Upon hearing that he won the scholarship, Lukeson Ashbourne said, “I am so excited. This will help me pay tuition at college so I can succeed.” 

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Emrys Alfaro Haugen let out a big smile. “This is wonderful news.” 

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. Applicants must submit a sock design and a personal statement. The three winners were selected from over 300 entries, the most ever in the six-year history of the program. 

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 of 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 individuals on the autism spectrum in the United States 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 300 applications before selecting the winner. 

The first-place winner, Lukeson Ashbourne 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. Lukeson will continues his studies at Bloomfield College of Montclair State University. 

As the first runner-up, Emrys Alfaro Haugen will receive a $2,500 scholarship that he will use as he continues his studies at the University of Washington at Tacoma where he is an English major. Second runner-up Elyse Miller will receive a $1,000 scholarship to continue her studies at the University of Toledo's Honor College where she is working on a degree in Disability Studies.   

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 $750,000 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