Two Strangers Started a School

Two Strangers Started a School

Two Strangers Built a School

In the enchanting world of podcasts, there are narratives that not only entertain but also inspire, resonating with the power of human connection and shared experiences. As our agency name suggests, let’s dive into a remarkable True Story marked by serendipity and dedication, featuring the dynamic duo of Staci Berryman and Heidi Blalock. The fateful encounter between a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst working with kids diagnosed with autism and a businesswoman with a son, Max, with autism, at an autism walk in 2009 ignited the spark that would lead them to co-found the transformative Emerald Coast Autism Center. Staci and Heidi open up about the highs and lows of their awe-inspiring venture, from securing land for a dollar a year to shaping Emerald Coast Learning Center, a second facility to empower their students for the challenges of the workforce. Get ready for an insightful exploration of their extraordinary path, where passion meets purpose, and resilience meets reward!


Nestled in Niceville, FL, on the grounds of Northwest Florida State College, the Emerald Coast Autism Center is dedicated to implementing Applied Behavior Analysis therapy. With a personalized approach, featuring a one student to one teacher ratio, the center focuses on nurturing essential skills for children with autism. From fostering communication to managing behaviors and honing social skills, the center caters to the diverse needs of its students. Serving a range from two to twenty-three years old, the facility is designed to accommodate the academic and vocational/life skills paths of its students. This expansion provides a dedicated space for skill development while also opening doors for on-campus job opportunities for these remarkable individuals. Drawing families from as far as Pensacola, the center is a beacon of support and growth for children and young adults on the autism spectrum in the Florida Panhandle area.


If you want to learn more about the inspiring story behind Staci Berryman and Heidi Blalock and the building of Emerald Coast Autism Center make sure to give this podcast episode a listen here: 


Learn more about Emerald Coast Autism Center’s capital campaign here:

Emerald Coast Autism Center on Facebook:

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