Memorial Scholarship for Autism

Avonte Oquendo Memorial Scholarship for Autism: A Look Back at Years of Impact

All of us at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., were touched by the story of 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo, an autistic boy who went missing after he wandered away from school in 2013. The outpouring of support and assistance that accompanied the search for Avonte was unprecedented. Although Avonte tragically did not make it home alive, we wanted to show the same support for the autistic community in memory of this extraordinary young man.

Since 2015, The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., has supported numerous students in the autism community through its Avonte Oquendo Memorial Scholarship for Autism. Through this effort, the firm honored the memory of Avonte Oquendo, a nonverbal 14-year-old boy with autism who left his Queens public school undetected in 2013 and tragically drowned in the East River. David Perecman, Founder and Lead Trial Lawyer at The Perecman Firm, had represented Avonte’s mother, Vanessa Fontaine, in a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her son.

The scholarship was available from 2016 until 2023. During this time, we were able to help numerous students with autism and their families.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve the autism community through the scholarship, and the firm’s attorneys remain steadfast in their commitment to advocate for those impacted by autism.

Thank you again for your support of the Avonte Oquendo Memorial Scholarship for Autism. Please continue to commemorate the life of Avonte through volunteerism, legal advocacy, and charitable giving.