Who are we?

Autism Family Education Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Upstate, SC.  Our purpose is to provide educational opportunities for families with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and/or other developmental disabilities to increase their knowledge and competency in caring for a child or adolescent with a developmental disability and assist them in improving their quality of life.  Funds raised provide scholarships to cover some of the expense of these training courses, seminars, and conferences to families in need.

If you or someone you know may benefit from these scholarships, please see the application below.

Interested in donating to or fundraising for our cause?  Information on making donations can be found below and you may contact us about organizing a fundraiser by e-mailing donate@autismfef.org

For more information, follow us on Facebook!

Donate

Paypal

Donations through PayPal are fast, easy, and secure. You choose how much to give and how to give it. If you would like to designate your donation for a particular family or towards a particular conference, please note this in the Special Instructions section when you submit your donation!

We absolutely want to recognize our donors contributions, so you may (if you choose) also let us know who your donation is in honor of and leave a short message.  These will be shown in our donors section below!  If you’d like your gift to remain anonymous, please tell us that as well.

Amazon Smile

Do you shop on Amazon often?  With just one easy change you can donate to us at no additional cost to you!  We are a verified charity with Amazon Smile!  So how does it work?  Instead of using Amazon.com just go to smile.amazon.com to do your amazon shopping (don’t worry, it’s the real deal).  Make sure Autism Family Education Fund is set as your charity of choice and Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase amount to us just for shopping with them!  You can find out more by clicking below.

Shop via the mobile app?  You can still use the app to browse and place your purchase in your cart.  Then when you’re ready to purchase, use your mobile browser to navigate to smile.amazon.com, login as normal, and proceed to checkout!  Once you have us set as your default charity it’s that easy to donate!

Fundraisers

Fundraisers will be hosted locally in the Upstate SC area and online through this website as well as Facebook.  We will post events as they are scheduled!

Upcoming Events:

November 5th – Willy Taco Fundraiser
Printable FlierBuy Tickets

Mail-In Donations

 Please send mail-in donations to:
Autism Family Education Fund Inc.
P.O. Box 1142
Travelers Rest, SC 29690

Apply Now

If you are an adult with autism or a family member of a child with autism needing a scholarship to attend an educational event, conference, or seminar to expand your knowledge about Autism Spectrum Disorders, we want to help!  Fill out the form below to be considered for a scholarship.  Please ensure that all fields are filled out.  Completed forms may either be e-mailed to apply@autismfef.org or mailed to our mailing address in the contact information below. Please allow ample time for consideration.

Please note that while we will consider applicants from a wide area, South Carolina residents who apply and applications to local conferences and education seminars will receive first priority at this time.

Download Printable Word Document

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Events

Thank you!

We are so happy to announce that we had an amazingly successful event, and we owe it to each of you who came out!  Thanks to your participation we raised over $3000!  We are grateful to everyone who came out and joined us, from the pre-registers to the walk-ins, and we hope you all had as much fun as we did!

Stay tuned for our next event to be announced!

Approved Conferences

The following are educational conferences and seminars that have been approved by the Autism Family Education Fund for applicants to attend.  Choosing an approved conference will help expedite your application process, however it is not required to choose one of these conferences to apply for assistance!

National Converge Autism Summit

Springbrook Autism Behavioral Health invites professionals from across the nation to converge for two days of presentations and breakout discussions covering a wide range of topics related to Autism—from diagnosis, behavioral health and treatment, and therapy results.

For more information or to register visit http://convergeautism.com

Your Conference Could Be Here

Interested in having your educational conference, lecture, or seminar on our website?  Do you have helpful, educational information for parents of children with ASD and/or other developmental disabilities?  Would you like to help us help parents attend your event?

If you answered yes, we invite you to become a member of our approved conference network!  Becoming an approved conference allows us to approve applicants who wish to attend your event more quickly.  You will also be featured on our webpage alongside other approved conferences!  For more information, contact one of our board members or e-mail us at info@autismfef.org with your event information.

Donors and Sponsors

The puzzle is incomplete without your help!

We recognize that the good we are able to do can only be done with your help!  We would like to give recognition back to the sponsors and donors who help us offer these amazing opportunities to families in need.  Thank you for all that you do to support us!

Springbrook Behavioral Health, Gold Sponsor

Testimonials

We are so grateful when we receive feedback from the families we sponsor.  We love hearing how AFEF has helped you learn and grow!  If you have received a sponsorship, please tell us your story.  We would love to hear it!  You can submit your AFEF story to apply@autismfef.org.  Please be sure to let us know if we can feature your testimonial here on the website so others can see how we can help them!

“My husband Michael and I attended our first autism conference ever, partly due to the scholarship from the Autism Family Education Fund. It meant so much to my Michael and I that there was support for deserving family members, affected by autism. We made some great connections and left feeling encouraged for what the future holds!”

Marianne Koehl 2018 Scholarship Recipient

“I did a lot of reading and research when my son was first diagnosed with autism. four years ago, so the experts at the autism conference really brought me up to speed with the latest scientific research and information. They pointed me to the resources I need to help my son. I walked away with information and ideas that I can use throughout the entire year. I thank Autism Family Education Fund for this opportunity.”

M.J. Simpson 2018 Scholarship Recipient

Board Members

Drew McCabe, Vice Chairman

Mr. McCabe is the Dean of Academics at the ECPI University. He has worked in leadership roles in Higher Education for nearly ten years. Prior to that time, he was Division Director for Robert Half International and previously a Regional Manager for Sunbelt Rentals Incorporated. He is responsible for providing proactive leadership to engage all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to support the students’ academic achievement, personal, and social development. In addition to his academic work, he serves as a volunteer for The Family Effect, a philanthropic arm of the Phoenix Center. A graduate of both Clemson University and the University Of North Carolina at Charlotte, Mr. McCabe holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Management as well as a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Mr. McCabe works with the Autism Family Education Fund to help bring awareness of Educational opportunities and services available to individuals and families of individuals with autism.

Contact: dmccabe@autismfef.org

Monique Williams, Treasurer

Monique is an education enthusiast in upstate South Carolina, currently in student services at Clemson University. Education has been a pillar in her life and remains a continuous pursuit. Monique’s career began in continuing education for a legal nonprofit organization in southeastern Pennsylvania, but detoured when she returned to school to earn her master’s degree with a goal of teaching in higher education.  Monique found her niche in student services where she enjoys helping students navigate the complex maze of higher education, and career and personal development. Joining the AFEF board is an extension of her favorite motto, “Knowledge is Power,” and she states, “I am grateful to be a part of an organization that seeks to empower families through education.”

Contact: mwilliams@autismfef.org

Patti Wentz, Alternate Secretary

Patti is the Director of Nursing for the RN program at ECPI University in Greenville.   She has been an educator in some capacity for most of her adult life and has a passion for imparting knowledge and wisdom to others.  With a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education and 21 years of nursing experience, helping others learn about the processes happening in their body and mind are important to her.  Patti’s interpersonal skills, desire to help others learn, and willingness to serve in the community have spurned the interest to be a part of the Autism Family Education Fund.  Patti is also a member of the Women of St. Francis, serves as a mentor to ladies with life controlling issues in her church, and serves as a mentor for young nurses with the American Nurses Association.

Contact: pwentz@autismfef.org

Ashley Krozer, Board Member

Ashley is the Community Relations Coordinator for iTrust Wellness Group, an outpatient mental health clinic in Greenville, SC.  As Community Relations Coordinator, Ashley approaches marketing not only as a profession but as a creative outlet.   With a B.S. in Marketing Communications from Western New England University, Ashley has a passion for all things inventive. She strives to build relationships that are productive and enjoyable. Ashley is committed to educating people about mental health conditions and mental wellness through community forums, workshops, and events. Her ultimate goal is to educate and connect with the community to help others find hope and stability through their struggles.  AFEF board allows Ashley to continue to advocate for improved, expanded and accessible mental health services.

Contact: akrozer@autismfef.org

David Burleson, Board Member

David Burleson is a graduate of Anderson University, where he obtained three separate Bachelor of Science Degrees in Marketing, Management, and Finance/Economics.  He has worked as an Economist progressing to Senior Consultant, obtained his insurance licenses with a specialty in Financial Services, and worked as a Staffing Manager where he specialized in executive recruiting for accountants and financial analysts.  As both Autism and Mental Illness have personally affected his family, David joined Springbrook Behavioral Health in 2010 to work with those populations as the hospital’s Regional Director of Business Development.  David has also served on the Board of Directors for Mental Health America since 2013.  David brings his passion and expertise from his professional and personal experiences to the Autism Family Education Fund team.

Contact: dburleson@autismfef.org

Mary Ann Bennett, Board Member

Mary Ann has an extensive background helping autistic children and their families in the community.  She is one of the founders of a local non-profit charter school for children with ADHD, ASD, and learning disabilities, and was pivotal in the transformation of a local residential treatment facility into a behavioral health center for autistic children.  Working in this residential autism center environment and seeing the impact that providing education has had on families dealing with autism has inspired Mary Ann to be a part of the Autism Family Education Fund so that other families can receive the same benefit.

Contact: mbennett@autismfef.org

Ashlan Burns, Board Member

Ashlan is the Clinical Coordinator for the PN program at ECPI University in Greenville. She has been an RN for seven years and has been an educator for the last four. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education and has a strong desire to empower others with knowledge to enhance their lives. Ashlan is also a member of the Association for Nursing Professional Development organization. Her biggest passion is to help others by offering resources and support during their most challenging times. She is motivated to give back to her community and has volunteered in the healthcare setting for most of her life. She is grateful for the opportunity to sit on the Autism Family Education Fund as a board member to inspire change, impact local families, and raise awareness about Autism.

Contact: aburns@autismfef.org

Board Advisors

Rebekah Wright, Board Advisor

Rebekah Wright is a graduate of North Greenville University where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology, and Louisiana State University Shreveport where she obtained her Masters in Health Administration. Rebekah began her career as a direct care staff at Springbrook Behavioral Health in 2012. Since then she has been able to utilize her talents and now is currently the Director of Patient Relations, Quality, and the Group Living Director. Rebekah has always had a focus on mental health awareness and the drive to advocate for those in need. Rebekah has over 5 years of experience with working with the Autism population and currently is a Registered Behavior Technician. Rebekah brings her skills in process improvements, project management, and advocacy to the Autism Family Education Fund team.

Contact: rwright@autismfef.org

Rebecca Johnson, Board Advisor

Rebecca Johnson is the Quality, Data, and Media Specialist at Springbrook Behavioral Health System.  She has worked freelance in website development and graphic design for most of her adult life.  In 2013 she began working with the autism population at Springbrook Behavioral as a direct care staff.  She then moved to the Quality and Patient Relations department in 2015 where she works at present.  Rebecca’s work centers around quality improvement for patients and families as well as media management and online presence.  Her personal experiences as well as years working with the autistic population at Springbrook have contributed to her passion for advocacy.  Her desire in serving on the board is to see more education opportunities made accessible to the community in order to foster a better understanding and acceptance of individuals with autism and/or other developmental or neurological disorders.

Contact: website@autismfef.org