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Scholarship Winners

Students who have been awarded scholarships share their thanks and photos.




Originally, Carly is from Orlando, FL. She now lives in El Paso, Texas as her husband is currently stationed at Fort Bliss. Carly enjoys spending time with her German Shepherd and 2 cats, cooking, and doing yoga. While the military lifestyle can be difficult, she enjoys living and traveling across the U.S. She writes:

To the Robin Shari Parker HAPPi Foundation’s Board of Directors:

Words cannot express the immense gratitude I feel for receiving this scholarship. I am deeply humbled to be a recipient of the Robin Shari Parker HAPPi Foundation scholarship, and to even be associated with Dr. Parker’s extraordinary work in the field of autism spectrum disorders.
Like Dr. Parker, I also attended Florida State University for my bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Additionally, I briefly worked alongside Dr. Amy Wetherby, whom instilled within me a passion for working with individuals with autism. I am also an avid reader of the PrAACtical AAC blog due to its invaluable information regarding AAC implementation and strategies.

I want to extend a sincere thank you to this Foundation. Not only does it provide invaluable education and resources related to autism spectrum, it also increases awareness of pancreatic cancer. As an individual whose family was directly affected by both pancreatic cancer and autism, I understand firsthand how devastating these ailments can be to individuals and families. Given my family history, I strive to help families affected and educate the public. Pancreatic cancer is a vile disease and autism spectrum disorders add immense stress to family units; my
prayers go out to those affected.

Going forward in my career, I hope to work with military families afflicted by autism spectrum disorders. Given that my husband is in the Army, I have been made aware of the lack of support military families receive financially, emotionally, and educationally in this area. Due to constant
cross-country moving, it’s difficult for these families to establish a solid support network. This lack of support impedes on progress, specifically for children on the spectrum. I wish to be a solid support system for those in need by offering education, resources, and emotional support.
Although Dr. Parker’s time on earth was cut short, her legacy continues in the field of speech-language pathology. Dr. Parker’s research will continue to provide vast insight and knowledge for years to come. I can only hope to impact as many lives as she did.

It is an incredible honor to be associated with the Robin Shari Parker HAPPi Foundation. Thank you for this generous opportunity!

Carly Finocchio


Please accept my sincere gratitude for selecting me as the first recipient of the Robin Shari Parker HAPPI Foundation Scholarship.  It is truly an honor.  My passion for this field has been solidified by the caring and knowledgeable professors that I have connected with since beginning my journey at Nova Southeastern University. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

As my time at Nova is quickly coming to an end, the scholarship will allow me to complete my studies this summer.  I am currently placed in a middle school environment enjoying every moment assisting students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  It is my hope to continue working with this population of students. 

Again, thank you for honoring me with this prestigious award.


Lauren Lagunovich

Nova Southeastern University, SLP Graduate Student

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