Rich Center for Autism gets support from former YSU standout and - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Rich Center for Autism gets support from former YSU standout and current Oakland Raider

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Students at the Rich Center for Autism, on the campus of Youngstown State University, were excited to welcome former Youngstown State University standout and current Oakland Raiders Brandian Ross to their classrooms.

"I met one player growing up and it just made my day. So, I am all about putting smiles on their faces and just seeing them happy," Ross said.

Brandian, who is spending the off-season in Youngstown to finish his psychology degree, wanted to swing by the Rich Center to not just meet its students, but to sit down with its staff.

About a year ago, the 24 year-old launched a clothing line, Unity Over Self, and has decided to donate a portion of his proceeds to the school.

"Autism just has a soft spot in my heart because there is no distinct reasoning to why. So, I am all in favor for research for it and things of that nature," Ross said.

The donation comes as wonderful news to the staff at the Rich Center. The school, which doesn't require families to pay, enrolls about 75 students between the ages of 2 and 17. Through the Autism Scholarship, grants and donations like the one Brandian is making, the Rich Center is able to provide educational services and therapies to its students free of charge.

"We've been able to, over the years, continue to operate and serve families in our community because of those generous donations and right now we know that one in 88 children with be diagnosed with autism and so it is not going away," said Renee McConnell with The Rich Center for Autism.

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