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

Evolution of Match-A-Friend

On June 3, 2014, Adam, who had autism and was the driving force behind Autism Unites’ projects and programs, passed away at the age of 20 leaving behind the legacy of Match-A-Friend.

As the years passed, we realized that the pain of disconnection lives well beyond the autistic population and we are all looking for a way to connect.

In answer to this, we created The First Guild as the DBA of Autism Unites to expand our initiatives on a broader scale and reach people from all walks of life.

Adam passed away, but his legacy has become the catalyst for a new way of seeing the world.

We believe that sustainable business is based on quality connections. The object of Autism Unites (DBA The First Guild) is to provide services and resources essential in building such connections. This unique platform is based on the Match-A-Friend model, the legacy of Adam. Autism Unites’ mission is to carry on this legacy resulting in creation of meaningful jobs for young adults.

Building Match-a-Friend Connections

Jackiee Blossoms, a former foster youth, and her first Match-a-Friend

Through The First Guild’s Match-A-Friend program and services, individuals with autism and other challenges can team up with The First Guild’s specially trained friends 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!


Community Outreach

building the foundation

Workshops & Documentary "Through the Heart of Tango"

trailer of the Documentary “Through the Heart of Tango”

In 2012, Autism Unites (formerly Dance Into Unity, Inc.) held the series of workshops “Through the Heart of Tango”, which were incorporated into a documentary by Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films. 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 follows the story of each featured youth and friend in a journey exploring what it really means come together.

autism unites hosts seminar with CCPD

On August 20, 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