Jefferson Award Winner: Becky Large, Champion Autism Network
Horry County, S.C. (WPDE) —
"For all your great work in the community and making all these kids' dreams come true and changing lives, for not just our community, but communities across the united states, and hopefully the world some day, here is your Jefferson Award," said Phil Jackson, as he gave the Jefferson Award medal to Becky Large.
Previous winner Phil Jackson, with Surf Dreams Foundation, is paying it forward, nominating Becky Large for the Jefferson Award.
"With Champion Autism Network, she has changed lives," says ackson.
"Families with autism really need support and outlets. And really our primary mission is to provide a traditional family experience, modified for the members with autism," says Large.
Large has a son on the autism spectrum and founded the non-profit Champion Autism Network in 2012.
She helped put Surfside Beach on the map as the world's first certified autism-friendly destination, offering training for local businesses, town leaders, and people who live there.
She realized the impact on families early on.
"When we started the sensory-friendly movies, about five years ago," she says.
Then two years ago, with the grand opening of a 'quiet room' at Myrtle Beach International Airport.
"It really means something to the families who need it. It doesn't get used a lot. But it's there if they need it," says Large.
Overall, she is on a mission to raise awareness and help people better understand autism.
"Because if you're going to invite the world to come play here, you know, people with autism, the population needs to know who's coming. And you know, tantrums and meltdowns are likely and not to be judgemental," says Large.
Becky Large is this month's Jefferson Award winner!
To nominate a member of your community for the Jefferson Award, click here.