SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Remarkable women are everywhere and we like to recognize their efforts to make our lives and our communities better. Cheryl Smith, is one of those remarkable women living and working her in utah.

Cheryl Smith is a longtime autism advocate, she’s served as the president of the Autism Council of Utah and worked tirelessly with a number of organizations on initiatives and legislation to improve the lives of people living with autism and their families. Her efforts on Utah’s Capitol Hill benefit many Utahns. Nearly 20 years ago, she spearheaded the passing of the Carson Smith Scholarship legislation, named after Smith’s now grown son who lives with autism. The scholarship provides much needed funding to families with children with autism to help secure education and resources from private sources.

Smith’s efforts benefit families with children with autism who are both still of school age or grown adults who have aged out of available school programs and other support services for children.

“She’s a shoulder to cry on and friend to laugh with, always making time for a person in need,” says friend and fellow autism advocate Laura Anderson. “Everything she does, is because it is the right thing to do.”

Smith is also working with local law enforcement to train and educate police officers about autism. Smith says she’s simply paying it forward and trying to help others like those that helped her. She’s often referred to as a true champion for Utah’s autism community.

‘When I grow, I want to be Cheryl C. Smith,” Anderson says tongue in cheek. “She is remarkable.”