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Distinguished Finalist

Mary Leydon

Stamford, Connecticut

Mary Leydon, 16, of Stamford, Conn., a junior at Westhill High School, played a lead role in creating a buddy club in 2012 that supports students with autism and raises awareness of the disorder – an initiative that has grown to include 150 high school members. In addition to its youth activities, Mary’s “Stamford Education 4 Autism Buddies” club recently opened a store to provide work experience to adults with autism.