CVS/pharmacy Charitable Trust Lends Support to Students with Autism

Friday, July 14, 2006

Scholars Program at Autism Society of America's National Conference

WOONSOCKET, R.I., July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The CVS/pharmacy Charitable Trust announced on Thursday its five-year sponsorship of the CVS All Kids Can Scholars Program. First made public at yesterday's opening session of the Autism Society of America National Conference, each year the program will award $1000 scholarships to five students with autism to enable them to attend the college or trade school of their choosing. The program will be part of CVS' signature program, CVS All Kids Can(TM), a five-year $25 million commitment by the CVS/pharmacy Charitable Trust and CVS/pharmacy to support children with disabilities.

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Beginning in 2007, the CVS All Kids Can Scholars Program will be open to any student with autism who has been accepted into an accredited, post-secondary educational or vocational program of study. The program will be administered by the Autism Society of America (ASA) and judged based on the student's transcript, letters of recommendation and personal statement outlining the student's qualifications and proposed plan of study. The first scholarships will be awarded in Spring 2007.

In creating the CVS All Kids Can Scholars Program, CVS/pharmacy looks to support the mission of CVS All Kids Can: to help children with disabilities learn, play and succeed in life. By encouraging students with autism to attain a post-secondary education, CVS/pharmacy hopes to increase their opportunities for success and allow them to achieve their greatest potential.

"CVS/pharmacy has a long history of giving back to the communities in which we serve by supporting people of all abilities," said Eileen Howard Dunn, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Community Relations at CVS/pharmacy. "With CVS All Kids Can, we will help children with disabilities to reach their greatest potential because we believe that all kids can."

In addition to the CVS All Kids Can Scholars Program, CVS/pharmacy will also serve as a national co-sponsor of the "Evening of Champions" at the ASA Conference, "Lighting the Way to Hope: Navigating to Success and Solutions," held this week in Providence, RI. The Annual Evening of Champions Dinner is the established forum to celebrate and honor achievements in the autism community. CVS/pharmacy is proud to sponsor this year's event recognizing remarkable leaders and their heroic efforts on behalf of individuals with autism.

The larger ASA National Conference focuses on success and solutions for families and individuals living with autism. The conference attracts organizations, experts, teachers and parents from around the country whose lives are touched by autism. Keynote presentations and educational sessions will feature cutting edge contributors to autism research as well as success strategies for teachers and parents. In addition to the Evening of Champions, CVS/pharmacy will sponsor "Lighting the Way to a New Society: Leading Others to Inclusive Communities," an educational session exploring effective ways to create a society to which individuals with and without autism can belong.

The goals of CVS All Kids Can are to raise awareness in schools and in local communities about the importance of inclusion; build barrier-free playgrounds so children of all abilities can play side-by-side; and provide medical rehabilitation and related services to children with disabilities. In addition to its work with the ASA, CVS/pharmacy and its more than 170,000 employees plan to help children with disabilities learn, play and succeed through partnerships with leading local and national nonprofit organizations including Easter Seals, The National Center for Boundless Playgrounds and many others.

About the Autism Society of America

The Autism Society of America was founded in 1965 and has grown from a handful of parents into the leading source of information, research and reference on autism for more than 40 years. ASA is the oldest and largest grassroots organization within the autism community with more than 50,000 members and supporters connected through a network of nearly 200 chapters nationwide. ASA is dedicated to increasing public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with autism, their families and the professionals with whom they interact. The Society and its chapters share a common mission of providing information and education, supporting research and advocating for programs and services for the autism community.