Barbara Palilis, M.A
Executive Director, Circle of Friends
Barbara Palilis received her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Southern California in 1973. She worked as a Speech/Language Pathologist in private practice, hospitals, clinics, and in school districts where she remained for 25 years. In 1999, she created Circle of Friends - The Path to Inclusion (C0F), an inclusion program for teens and young adults with disabilities that decreased bullying at Santa Monica High School, in California.
In 2005, Barbara founded a nonprofit organization that now trains schools (elementary, middle, and high school) to open and maintain CoF programs on their campuses. In only 8 years, she has established chapters on more than 100 campuses throughout California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Oregon, positively impacting over 22,000 students. She has made long-term positive social impacts on future generations of students both with and without special needs.