Our Mission

Providing young people who have challenges to fit into the traditional societal system, an infrastructure where they are valued and are able to express who they are based on the meaningful connections through match-a-friend.

Building Connections

Finding your place in the world

Match-A-Friend: The Key To Creating Sustainable Jobs​

We believe that sustainable business is based on quality connections. The object of Autism Unites and its sister branch, The First Guild, is to provide a platform for education and job training, essential in building such connections. This unique platform is based on the Match-A-Friend model, the legacy of Adam, a young adult with autism who passed away on June 3rd, 2014, at the age of twenty. Autism Unites’ mission is to carry on this legacy resulting in creation of meaningful jobs for young adults with special needs.

Jackiee Blossoms, a former foster youth, and her first match-a-friend

Project: The First Guild

The First Guild is an organization with its own unique mission, which serves as a bridge to the goals of Autism Unites.

Through The First Guild’s Match-A-Friend program, individuals with autism and other challenges can team up with specially trained friends (by The First Guild) in entrepreneurial projects with a unifying end goal. The result are people who derive meaning and satisfaction from expressing who they are and seeing value in what they do, with a significant, tangible contribution to the world through their sustainable business.

Match-A-Friend store

The vintage and antique marketplace FifilleJolie.com has teamed with Autism Unites through its support of projects which turn the interests, qualities and dreams of individuals – whether on the autism spectrum or not – into sustainable business enterprises based on the model of Match-A-Friend and the Art of Connection.

Support our programs by shopping  at FifilleJolie.com and enjoy a great shopping experience!

introducing "Beyond 5-star Hosting",an educational and training Hosting platform.

Match-A-Friend Hosting

On June 3, 2016, the 2nd anniversary of Adam’s passing, Autism Unites introduced “Beyond 5-star Hosting”, a platform for training Airbnb Hosts based on the Match-A-Friend model. In this video, Leah Marzan, the owner of a boutique hotel, shares why quality connections are so important to any business.

6/3/2014 - introdusing "Beyond 5-star Hosting",an educational and training platform for Superhosts!

Match-A-Friend Tours

Providing training and employment readiness for young adults with autism and former foster care youth. These young adults will work in a pair with a professional coach / friend. The training will be based on Autism Unites’ Match-A-Friend model to assure a positive and meaningful experience for everyone.

Community Outreach

building the foundation

The Trailer of the Documentary “Through the Heart of Tango”  (2012)

Workshops & Documentary "Through the Heart of Tango"

During 2012, Autism Unites (former Dance Into Unity, Inc.) hold series of workshops “Through the Heart of Tango”, which was put into the documentary by Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films (www.InclusionFilms.com). The purpose of this project was to document through film, the process of what it takes and what it means to form a genuine connection with another through Match-A-Friend, a program that aims to teach diverse youth what it means to connect as friends with individuals who have autism. This documentary will follow the story of each featured youth and friend in a journey exploring what it really means come together. Read Press Releases

autism unites hosts seminar with CCPD

On August 20th, 2014 Culver City Police Chief Scott Bixby, Captain Allen Azran, Lieutenant Jason Sims, Captain Ron Iizuca, and Officer Toby Raya participated in a seminar with Autism Unites and Emily Iland who teaches special education at California State University.

Jiu-Jutsu Program

Tarjei Hass, our Community Outreach Coach, has been a Jiu-Jutsu assistant at Gerson Sanginitto’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy. 

My vision is to bring Jiu-Jitsu to schools.  My Jiu-Jitsu training with Gerson gave me the structure that I so desperately needed. I believe that learning the art of Jiu-Jitsu helps to develop strong and healthy identity. My vision is to bring this to the world.t(

“CCPD has forged a valued partnership with Autism Unites”

On behalf of myself and the Culver City Police Department I would like to express our sincerest appreciation and admiration for the work being done by Autism Unites.
scott bixby, chief of ccpd