Alexandra Dilger Award Fund

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Helping Neurodiverse Young Adults Achieve their Dreams

Alexandra Dilger lived a rich and fulfilling life despite personal challenges with depression and anxiety.  She was witty, determined to succeed, and driven to achieve greater independence.  Part of her vision was to get a job where she could excel … enter A Little Compassion.  Alexandra was one of the first participants in the programs offered by A Little Compassion/The Nest, a Deep River nonprofit organization which provides authentic and enriching employment and social opportunities for neurodiverse young adults.

Everyone loved being around Alexandra and her parents, Gale and Patrick, wanted to create a meaningful “something” to not only honor her memory, but to also help young neurodiverse adults facing challenges due to autism, an intellectual/developmental disability.  They wanted to help those who might just need a little help in attaining their goals and “reaching for the stars.”  In 2019 Gale and Patrick partnered with Jane Moen, Executive Director of A Little Compassion/The Nest to establish the Alexandra Dilger Award.  Rather than offering a monetary scholarship, Patrick and Gale envisioned an award that would provide recipients with tools and supports for success.  Recent awards have included assistive technology, tutoring services, online art classes, adaptive driving lessons and specialized tools and equipment.  The recipients have been college students, high school students preparing to enter college, and young adults taking their first steps in the working world.

As opportunities continue to grow for our neurodiverse young adults, Patrick and Gale considered how the award might help more young adults through a variety of organizations and schools in Connecticut. Working with the Community Foundation, Patrick and Gale established the Alexandra Dilger Award Fund at the Community Foundation. The purpose of the award will continue as it did when originally conceived – to provide tools and supports for success to award recipients. Establishing the Fund at CFMC offers Patrick and Gale an opportunity to broaden the call for nominations and connect in with the many organizations serving neurodiverse young adults.