Impact: our first micro-grant of $500 awarded to Katie Oswald

Last month we awarded our very first micro-grant through Engage SOUP!

(L-R) Melissa Joy - President, Pearl Planning; Katie Oswald - Executive Director, Full Spectrum Agency; Brooke Boyle - Founder, Engage  Photo courtesy of Samantha Freedman

(L-R) Melissa Joy - President, Pearl Planning; Katie Oswald - Executive Director, Full Spectrum Agency; Brooke Boyle - Founder, Engage

Photo courtesy of Samantha Freedman

Thanks to the attendees and the matching sponsor, Pearl Planning, we were able to award Katie Oswald $500 for her exceptional presentation of the work she is doing with Full Spectrum Agency for Autistic Adults!


And her thank you note says volumes.

Thank you to everyone who attended the first SOUP last night - to everyone who pitched, helped organize or sponsor the event, and a special thank you to everyone who voted for Full Spectrum Agency for Autistic Adults.

I can’t tell you in words how nervous I was to pitch last night, so I will give you an image. Note the stress level in the red zone, just before the event!


I facilitate meetups and workshops on a regular basis and often speak at autism conferences, so I didn’t expect to get this nervous over a five minute pitch.

I didn’t think of it until I was driving home after the event.

This was my first time presenting as an openly autistic person in front of neurotypical audience.

That was a huge step for me, and I’m glad I got to share it with such an awesome group of people.

In my pitch, I talked about making accommodations for individuals so that everyone is included in society. Now that I’ve had time to process what I heard last night, I see a common thread running through the pitches – helping people find their passion and purpose and giving them the support that they need to achieve their goals. Nick is helping people set their goals, Scott helps connect veterans find the support and resources they need, and Hassan has an innovative way to manage your self-care.

That is the true value of an event like SOUP. I came away from the event not only with the funding I need to do the beta test of our ASD Connections program, but with several new partnership opportunities. We can create far more value for people when we work together and share ideas than we can do alone.

An extra special thank you to Brooke and her Engage team for all of your hard work! I appreciate the opportunity to advocate for autism, talk about my programs, and build my community.

In gratitude, Katie


  • Katie and the other presenters for sharing their work with Engage,

  • the individuals who attended and asked exceptional questions and donated above the minimum ask because of their enthusiasm for the presentations,

  • our sponsors:

    • Ben Harrington and Samantha Freedman at SPARK East for hosting,

    • Melissa Joy, President of Pearl Planning, for exceeding the matching amount of SOUP contributions to ensure a $500 award for our first micro-grant event, and

    • Bee Roll, Founder of Beezy’s, for providing exceptional chicken and broccoli soup, a gluten-free, vegan chili (not too spicy), and incredible yeasty bread and a crock of butter.


If you didn't get a chance to attend SOUP last month, and would like to donate to Full Spectrum Agency, you can do so through her Facebook donation page!

If you are on the autistic spectrum, Katie is looking for co-facilitators for her meetup.


If you’d like to present at the next SOUP, submit a proposal!

If you’d like to sponsor the next Engage SOUP, reach out to us at