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Media Coverage

Club creates a circle of inclusion

Simi Valley Acorn

“What we’re trying to do is get students with moderate to severe disabilities able to socialize and be included with the general education students on campus,” Syed said. “We want all students of all abilities to be included on campus.”

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UCLA Inspires Autistic Students in Math, Tech Fields


A groundbreaking program at UCLA gives young adults with autism and special needs a taste of the college experience while teaching life skills with the goal to prepare them for an independent life in the mainstream. Ted Chen reports from Westwood for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Feb. 26, 2013. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013

Circle of Friends: Students learn that they can make a difference in the world by embracing someone who is different.

California Teachers Association

Students learn they can make a difference in the world by embracing someone who is different.  Full article on page 20.  

Making a Difference: Building Acceptance through a “Circle of Friends”

NBC Nightly News

A crowded cafeteria at lunch time can be a very lonely place, but through Circle of Friends students can develop social skills and surround themselves with friends.  

Former SAMOHI Speech Pathologist is Voted “People All-Stars Among Us”

Santa Monica Mirror

The Executive Director of the nonprofit West L.A. Circle of Friends (CoF) and former Santa Monica High School (SAMOHI) Speech Pathologist, Barbara Palilis, was selected by fans through a national vote online as the winner to represent the Los Angeles Dodgers in the “All-Stars Among Us” campaign sponsored by People Magazine and Major League Baseball. 

Barbara Palilis Wins “People All-Stars Among Us” LA Dodgers

LOS ANGELES. CA, July 7, 2009 – Barbara Palilis, executive director of nonprofit Circle of Friends (CoF) in West LA, was selected by fans as the winner representing the Los Angeles Dodgers in the All-Stars Among Us campaign sponsored by People Magazine and Major League Baseball. 

Club broadens students’ boundaries of friendships

The San Diego Union-Tribune

A statewide school program to prevent disabled students from being isolated brought them together.

No cliques in the Circle of Friends: Club unites dozens of students with special-needs classmates

The San Diego Union-Tribune

The group, called Circle of Friends, is an offshoot of a successful program started years ago by Barbara Palilis at Santa Monica High School...

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Published on Feb 23, 2017

CBS Making a Difference Lisa Sigell reports. 

Circle of Friends brings special needs students together with a broad array of classmates to socialize. 

Published on Jan 20, 2016


Tamra Marriott, Associate Director of Circle of Friends, talked to Sandra Mitchell about the program.

Streamed live on Nov 24, 2015

Autism Live

Barbara Palilis, Executive Director of Circle of Friends, talked to Stephanie Shaffer about the program.

Published on Nov 19, 2014


Circle of Friends was the focus of an ABC report 

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