Congratulations to these 5 Winners for the RiSE Awards Autism given by the RiSE Scholarship Foundation, Inc.

These incredible students will receive $2500.00 payable to the College or University they choose to attend in the Fall of 2019.

Elizabeth Hutchinson, Massachusetts 
Elizabeth enjoys playing clarinet, acting in Shakespearean plays and is a creative and talented writer.  Her words to her “younger self”, as we at RiSE asked her to submit as the essay question were very well thought out. She reflected that having a diagnosis is a perspective. You can see it as a limit to possibilities or you can see it as a choice to exceed “everyone’s wildest imagination”.   
To quote Elizabeth, “You are not locked up unless you believe that you are”! Elizabeth shines and we are thrilled she is one of the 2019 RiSE Awards Autism Winners!  
Caden Kenney MCGowan, New York  

Caden’s parents, who are retired NYPD officers, were instrumental in helping Caden overcome his diagnosis of PDD and sensory integration disorder by helping him receive a proper diagnosis and encouraging him to receive and use the accommodations that helped him thrive.

He learned to use ear plugs if he was in large crowds and assemblies in elementary school and began to rely on his passion for art and to advocate on his needs. Caden was accepted into multiple colleges this spring after excelling at both academic and artistic pursuits in high school.

Update: Caden has chosen Long Island University and to major in Fine Arts. Congrats Caden!

“Don’t be afraid to break out and be who you want to be.” Caden

Audrey Moore, Texas  

High Senior Audrey Moore has been described by her theatre teachers as a ball of energy and is able to focus well on the task at hand. At this moment her focus is on graduating and following her pursuit of the arts. 

This description may not have fit as well in her early years as she describes having difficulty focusing due to being overwhelmed by her sensitivity to noise and feelings of chaos.  

Due to a wonderful elementary teacher who took great interest in Audrey and helped her “see the forest for the trees” she began to learn to focus on one thing at a time. This individual help enabled her to enter classes in a more calm way. Now Audrey is seen as “grace under fire” and known for her clarity and voice. We at RiSE wish Audrey the best in her next steps and beyond!! 

Matthew Plunk, Georgia 

Matthew has a quest for learning. He is naturally curious and has an insatiable interest in language and culture. He is a leader at his high school school in Atlanta and is fluent in French and Spanish.

Matthew plans to study Russian and other languages at Georgia Tech as he majors in International Affairs with an emphasis in Modern Languages. He has been accepted into the Global Leadership Living Community at Georgia Tech and will enter there this fall. He also will be in the marching band! Congrats Matthew, enjoy your new adventures!

“The world may perceive you differently, but that is because you are different, just like everyone else.” Matthew

Ridge Strange, Hawaii 

Ridge impressed the judges by his advice for younger students in school.  

He suggested to READ, see below his advice.  

R…. Read interesting books…(he loves Fable Haven by Brandon Mil).  

E… Educate yourself by reading. The more you read, the more your brain changes. 

A… Adapt by reading over and over… “It opens endless information”.  

D…. Dream of possibilities… You can do anything you want just keep going! 

Ridge is an athlete (playing football, wrestling and rugby), self-aware and obviously very witty. We can see that from his advice! We are eager to see his next steps! Congrats Ridge!! 

2019 RiSE Awards Autism Honorable Mention Award Winners

Below are the 10 students who will each receive $500.00 payable to the College they choose in the fall of 2019.

Congrats to you all!!

Christopher Angelo
Jaden Callahan
Sarah Moe
Anthony Ostlund
Brea Pickens
Zachary Pierce
James Rhodes
Anthony Salcone
Francisco Vargas
Jaclyn Warner