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Autism Community Ventures and Dr. Maureen Dunne Announce Transition2Success Scholarship Winners for Teens With Autism

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., June 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Autism Community Ventures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people on the autism spectrum successfully integrate into 21st-century careers, is proud to announce that the inaugural round of transition scholarships for its Transition2Success Project ("Transition2Success") have been awarded.

Autism Community Ventures previously announced that its Director, Dr. Maureen Dunne, founded a unique scholarship program called The Transition2Success Project for teens diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.

"The program is the first of its kind in that it is transportable to any college or apprenticeship and has been designed specifically to bridge high school to college or work so that teens with autism don't fall through the cracks," commented Dr. Dunne. "We will work to understand what's needed and to provide a diverse and flexible set of supports and services, including counseling, executive functioning coaching to help with organization and time management, assistive technology, and other skill-building workshops. The goal is to bring to the table whatever resources are necessary to help build a bridge from the structure of the school system into the next phase of life, to help these young adults move forward armed with the personal resources to find success and actualization."

The scholarship program is being rolled out nationally with a focus on a few regions for the initial pilot. One of the priority regions, Community High School District 99 in Downers Grove, IL, holds personal significance to Dr. Dunne. Dr. Dunne graduated from Downers Grove South High School as a junior and later went on to become the school district's first and only Rhodes Scholarship winner.

The pilot program for D99 high school seniors found fervent support from community leaders, especially the local Rotary Clubs. Woodridge Rotary Club became an early supporter of the program, hosting a gala featuring the Cover Girls, with their nationally acclaimed electric violin show.

Darien Rotary Club was also an early supporter of Transition2Success, generously donating an entire scholarship. 

Debbie Mascitti, the newly elected President of Woodridge Rotary commented, "It was wonderful to see so many of our community leaders, Rotarians, teachers, and parents at our fundraiser to show their full support and commitment to this worthy cause."

For the Downers Grove pilot, two of the students will be attending the College of DuPage in the Fall, while the third student will be attending North Central College. 

"The selection committee had a tough time choosing the scholarship winners since the finalists were all so impressive," stated Mary Onorad, a former transition coordinator for Naperville School District 203. 

The scholarship winners will also have access to a range of skill-building activities and workshops, suited to individual strengths. Dr. Dunne, who is also the Principal Investigator for the Autism and Innovation Initiative funded by the Discovery Partners Institute and private donors, already leads coding bootcamps that aim to include young adults with autism.

Media contact: William Doyle, Email: info@transition2success.org 

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