Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Autism Empowerment receives $25,000 Grant for Leadership Training


Contact: John Krejcha                              For Immediate Release
Telephone:  360-852-8369                        Date: January 6th, 2013
Email: john@autismempowerment.org

Vancouver based charity, Autism Empowerment receives $25,000 Grant from Autism Speaks for their Autism and Scouting Leadership Training Program

Autism Empowerment and their Autism and Scouting Leadership Training Program is one of just sixteen national non-profit recipients (and the only Northwest based honoree) of a 2012 Family Services Community Grant from Autism Speaks. The awards were announced in late December 2012 and Autism Empowerment will be receiving their grant award check in January 2013.

http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/grants/community-grants/community-grants-2012 (see list here)

Based out of Vancouver, WA and serving locally, nationally and worldwide, Autism Empowerment’s Autism and Scouting Leadership Training program works to train leaders about Autism, Asperger’s and inclusiveness within a variety of scouting venues including but not limited to Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Royal Rangers, American Heritage Girls, Sea Scouts, Campfire Girls, Impact Girls and Geek Scouts. They currently educate through online and in-person training as well as through their podcasts at Autism and Scouting Radio and Autism Empowerment Radio.


The grant is being used to expand the Autism and Scouting Program to provide advanced written, audio and video training to units throughout the United States. It will utilize a variety of visual and strategic tools to assist leaders in working more effectively with scouts (ages 5 - 24) with autism and their families.

The project teaches scouting leaders and parents how to best customize a scouting program that provides acceptance, enrichment, inspiration and empowerment for scouts on the autism spectrum, including the scout and his/her parents or caregivers. The program provides inclusion, sensory-friendly, skills-based leadership development and anti-bullying training that a leader can share with the full unit. The program supports and connects scouts and their parents and is designed to complement and enhance a unit’s existing disability awareness program.

The $25,000 grant award will be used to develop, produce and distribute 500 Leadership kits that will include a written training manual, workbook, sensory visuals as well as a DVD. Kits will be distributed to scouting units around the United States at no cost to the unit. Autism Empowerment is also seeking individual and corporate donors to help raise an additional $250,000 to produce and distribute an additional 10,000 kits worldwide.

Funds will also be used to provide supplemental online materials, webinars and new podcasts at both Autism and Scouting Radio and Autism Empowerment Radio.

In addition, in late fall of 2013 Autism Empowerment will host their first Regional Autism and Scouting Training Conference in Vancouver, WA. The conference will invite scouting groups throughout the Northwest and will provide workshops, role playing and hands-on training to all scouting groups.

Autism Empowerment is a 501(c)(3) public charity founded in June 2011 by Vancouver residents, Karen and John Krejcha. Karen and her two sons, Justin (13) and Ryan (6) are on the autism spectrum. Autism Empowerment promotes Acceptance, Enrichment, Inspiration and Empowerment within the Autism and Asperger communities. They serve all ages and all abilities and seek to improve and enhance the lives of individuals and families impacted by autism.

John who is the visionary and Director of the Autism and Scouting Program also volunteers as a Tiger Cub Den Leader and Assistant Scoutmaster in Pack 462 and Troop 462 where his sons Ryan (6) and Justin (13) are a Tiger Cub Scout and Star Scout respectively. Karen currently serves as an Assistant Den Leader.

He and Karen also serve on the BSA Cascade Pacific Council’s Special Needs Committee which serves SW Washington and Oregon. Autism Empowerment was also instrumental last year in helping fund and co-found Vancouver’s first sensory friendly Cub Scout Pack.

Having positive, helpful, educated, inspired and empowered leaders will promote retention, increase scout confidence, promote family involvement and will assist with advancement and success within all scouting programs.

The program also seeks to help recruit new scouts with autism and will provide a positive ongoing experience where scouts with autism can gain and achieve new life skills and help with the development of interpersonal relationships.

The four foundational pillars of Autism Empowerment are Accept, Enrich, Inspire and Empower and those key pillars are included in their training and in every program they develop.

In addition to their Autism and Scouting program, Autism Empowerment currently serves the local and national community through Autism Empowerment Radio podcasts, educational trainings, local outreach, community panels and special events such as the upcoming 2nd Annual Autism Empowerment Easter Egg Hunt to be held on Saturday, March 30th, 2013 at McKenzie Stadium.

http://www.AutismEmpowerment.org - Autism Empowerment (main website)
http://www.facebook.com/autismandscouting - Autism and Scouting Facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/autismempowerment - Autism Empowerment Facebook page
http://www.AutismandScouting.blogspot.com - Autism and Scouting Blog
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/autismandscouting - Autism and Scouting Radio
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/autismempowerment - Autism Empowerment Radio
@AutismEmpowermt and @AutismScouting – Twitter

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For more information about this topic, please contact John Krejcha, Autism and Scouting Program Director by phone (360) 852-8369 or email at john@autismempowerment.org. You can also contact Karen Krejcha, Executive Director of Autism Empowerment at (360) 852-8369 or karen@autismempowerment.org

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