2005 Winner - Lauren Boyd

The Eric Fund Grant helped make a very Merry Christmas for 18-year-old Lauren Boyd, said her mom Lesley, when she learned that Lauren had won an Eric Fund grant to purchase a Chat PC portable voice device that will help Lauren, who has autism, 
communicate more effectively. 

Lauren’s trial with the Chat PC at school went well, but since the device is costly, Lesley said as a single parent, she wasn’t able to afford the much-needed device for her daughter and had difficulty funding funding until she learned of the Eric Fund. 

When Lauren learned she would be receiving the device, she laughed and smiled. Lesley and Lauren’s teachers believe the Chat PC device will help Lauren build more social contact at school and in the community and will help her transition to a job more effectively when he graduates. Currently, Lauren works in two job placements per week at Outback Steakhouse and PetSmart. Lesley says the Chat PC will help Lauren communicate more effectively with her supervisors to get the most out of her vocational placement, which will put her in a good position to transition to a job in a couple of years and increase her independence.