The Eagles Autism Foundation announced on Thursday that the $3.6 Million raised from the 2nd annual Eagles Autism Challenge would fund eight pilot studies, two postdoctoral fellowships, and six community projects in Philadelphia.
The studies will include computational analysis of interpersonal synchrony; it is a lens into the early emergence of autism and more studies. There will also be identifying biobehavioral markers of atypical social-emotional reciprocity in autism and more postdoctoral fellowships.
There will also be community projects that will receive some of the money, including A Step Up Academy, Carousel Connections, Center for Autism Research, Elwyn Foundation, and Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support.
Finally, The Special Olympics of Pennsylvania will also be included in the donations, which I love because I was involved in The Special Olympics of Tennessee from second grade through fifth grade. The events the Special Olympics hold are a fantastic way for Eagles players, coaches and front office to get involved with the special needs community.
One way I believe the Eagles can improve their reach with their Eagles Autism Challenge
is to team up with Autism Speaks and the RT (Reece Trahan) Autism Awareness Foundation in the future. I do think the organizations would work well together, and they can maybe potentially work with the NFL as well to have a national reach instead of just a local reach.
As a person that is on the autism spectrum, I would love to see the Eagles Autism Challenge keep growing. It brings a smile to my face seeing my favorite football team working with something that is very personal to me. I am very confident that the annual fundraiser will continue to grow both in awareness and in monetary donations because I know more and more people will get involved and donate once they realize how impactful this fundraiser is.