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Everyone Benefits from the Eagles Autism Challenge

May 6, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I had the privilege to host a panel discussion last week with representatives from several leading institutions – including Independence Blue Cross, the Philadelphia Eagles, SAP and Vertex – that are committed to hiring neurodiverse individuals, including those on the autism spectrum.

More than 200 representatives from area organizations attended the event. The strong turnout underscored the interest in hiring neurodiverse employees. It also reaffirmed the importance of the research taking place at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute.

The Institute is the first autism research center in the world to focus on a public health science approach to understanding and addressing the challenges of the autism spectrum. Our research translates to real world practice today. The Institute also benefits significantly from funding raised through the Eagles Autism Challenge.

That is why I have been urging everyone to support this fun event on May 18. Last year's inaugural Challenge raised $2.5 million for autism research, including $800,000 for Drexel's Autism Institute. The event includes a 5K walk or run as well as a bike ride of 15, 30 or 50 miles. I will be participating in the 30-mile bike ride and hope to see many Drexel colleagues there. It is an exhilarating day for a good cause, and includes an opportunity to meet and talk with many Eagles players.

You can register for the Eagles Autism Challenge here. Drexel is offering $50 towards the registration fee for all our team members. Enter DRAGONS19 as the promo code when registering. In addition, faculty and professional staff will earn 25 points from the Wellness Incentive Program for joining the Challenge.

I hope you will be able to join me in supporting this worthwhile cause.


John Fry