Autism Inspired Academy

Autism Inspired Academy, photo from websiteWEST REGION
Acquisition loan
Private school serving special needs students

"Florida Community Loan Fund provided a financing opportunity allowing AIA to expand and continue to meet the needs of the children and families impacted by autism. The process was efficient and thorough, which is truly a testament to their mission of helping organizations improve lives in the community." – Elizabeth Russell, Director / Co-founder, Autism Inspired Academy

Autism Inspired Academy was founded in 2018 to fill the void in traditional public schools of specialized services for students with autism. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to empower children with autism to live lives of meaning, purpose, and joy.

A market study showed there are over 4,000 children with autism in Pinellas County, and that population is expected to continue to increase. Based on this need, the organization began with a camp operated only during school breaks, and after three years successfully expanded and inaugurated the Autism Inspired Academy private school.

The school began with 28 students and has consistently exceeded its enrollment goals, serving 80 students ages 5-17 in the 2023-24 school year, with a waitlist. The student population is 100% special needs, and parents are eligible for tuition payment through the Florida School Choice program – a program that mandates high standards for classroom teachers. Autism Inspired Academy meets the needs of students at varying developmental and educational levels, with classes based around academic abilities as well as social abilities and behavioral support needed. Student-to-teacher ratios are 3:1 in the lower grades and 5:1 starting in grade 6.

With financing from Florida Community Loan Fund, Autism Inspired Academy purchased a 6+ acre campus including 5 buildings that previously housed a special needs school. Relocating its school to this campus will allow the organization to continue to grow and serve a vulnerable community of students with autism – with a goal of doubling the current student population over the next five years.

Autism Inspired Academy classroom

view more success stories

Core Purpose FCLF exists to maximize opportunities for people and places outside of the economic mainstream.
Our Vision Opportunity and dignity exist for every person and community in Florida.
Our Mission Our expertise and capital make projects successful and help organizations improve lives and communities.

Sign Up for our Newsletter

©2024 FCLF - Florida Community Loan Fund, Inc. | Privacy Policy | Sitemap