FOUNDER, president and Ceo
While working as a marketing coordinator for 25 years, Paula was raising her son Zak, who has ASD. This journey inspired her to start a new career. She earned her Life Coach Certification from the Life Purpose Institute in 2014 and started her own coaching business. During this time, she founded a meetup group for adults with ASD and served as the adult programs facilitator for UCF CARD. Paula conducts workshops to help adults with ASD develop social, executive function, job readiness and independent life skills. Paula launched the ASD Adult Achievement Center in September 2016. She is passionate about discovering each individual's talents and empowering them to achieve greater success in life. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her Yorkies, family and friends.
MaryAnn Russell joined ASD Achievement in February 2019. She is passionate about, and has many years of experience, working with children and adults with special needs, especially down syndrome and autism. She attended Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, majoring in psychology and business. She also attended Barton County Community College in Kansas, where she received her certification in Social Services. Additionally, she received her certification in Volunteer Management at Daytona College. She has spent most of her working career in the nonprofit world working for the American Red Cross, The Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida and Chance2Dance. In her free time, MaryAnn enjoys teaching card making, scrapbooking and other paper crafting. Her biggest passion is gathering and donating new, stuffed animals and baby blankets for Noah’s Kuddles for Kids, an organization honoring her grandson who died of a pediatric stoke in 2016. To date, over 1,500 stuffed animals have been given to local hospitals and fire departments to comfort ill and injured children.
Alexis Dass joined ASD Achievement center in January 2019. She is currently studying Health Sciences Pre-Clinical at the University of Central Florida and plans to obtain her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis. During this time, she has worked with individuals with autism as serving as a Program Assistant. In her free time, she enjoys dining out with friends, the occasional computer game and binge watching her favorite shows on Netflix.
Michele Brindle joined ASD Achievement in August 2018. She received her degree in Computer Science and Communications from Barry University. Michele also works with children in the public school system including and specializing with individuals with autism. She also serves on UCF-CARD’s Constituency Board. Prior to this, Michele was President of an independent sales representation firm in the travel industry specializing in upscale, international travel. Michele is passionate abut helping those with ASD realize their full potential and value to society. In her free time, Michele enjoys reading, being in nature, doing yoga, creating new recipes, and enjoying time with her family and friends.
Interns (Spring 2019)
Ariel McLemore, Carlos Napoleoni, Chloe Quandt, CJ Milordis, Dallas Ward, Edgar Smith, Jeron Ferrington, Marly Pereira, Neha Patel, Sydnie Pleasants.