The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is very pleased to announce the recipients of our 2018 Autistic Scholars Fellowship! ASAN awards $5,000 tuition scholarships to 4 to 6 Autistic college students who demonstrate a strong commitment to disability rights advocacy, Autistic culture and community, and disability accessibility and inclusion on college campuses. We are extremely proud to include these exceptional self-advocates in our third class of Autistic Scholars. Nothing About Us, Without Us!
University of California, Merced (Merced, CA)
Megan is an autistic college sophomore at UC Merced. As the President of the up-and-coming Disability and Neurodiversity Alliance, she works to maintain a strong community of disabled students. Megan’s focus is on creating and strengthening further leaders in her community and providing resources to enable disabled students to thrive. She hopes to continue her work after college to make positive impacts for disabled people everywhere.
Ashton Brock Sorrels
Brite Divinity School (Fort Worth, TX)
Ashton is a second-year graduate student at Brite Divinity School studying theology and religious practice. He is the co-founder of Divergence: The Neuro- and Body-Divergent Community at Brite advocating for the rights and inclusion of disabled students on campus. He is also a council member at Emmaus Dinner Church, a church plant centering the leadership of LGBTQIA persons. His long-term goal is to work towards autistic inclusion and expression in religious spaces and to defend the validity and importance of autistic modes of religious identity and community.
Northern Virginia Community College (Alexandria, VA)
Huan is an autistic student at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). He is non-speaking but can communicate intelligently by spelling on a letter board. He started a club at NOVA called Aware to bridge the gap between the disabled and neurotypical communities and create a space where they can engage and break down stereotypical barriers. He also seeks acceptance and respect from college administrators as well as his community of the different modes of communication that autistic individuals, or the disabled in general, use. In his free time, Huan enjoys swimming, ice skating, volunteering at the local library, and spending time with friends.
The College of New Jersey (Ewing, NJ)
Elyan is a history major at The College of New Jersey. He is incredibly excited to have the opportunity to work with ASAN. He is currently in the process of founding a club by and for all disabled students, and is the Education and Advocacy Chair of the university’s LGBTQ organization, PRISM. He hopes to use both positions to draw attention to disability as a valuable form of cultural diversity and to ensure that it is included in discussions of intersectionality and that intersectionality is included in discussions of disability. In addition to his disability and LGBTQ advocacy, he is passionate about cats, science fiction, and the histories of psychology, eugenics, queer music subcultures, religion, and, of course, autism and I/DD.