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About Us

About The Els for Autism Foundation

Ben and Samantha Els

Els for Autism Foundation was established in 2009 by Liezl and Ernie Els. The Els’ son, Ben, is impacted by autism spectrum disorder, which affects 1 in 54 children in the U.S. The Foundation offers innovative, evidence-based programs for families and individuals across the life-span in six focus areas: Education, Research, Global Support, Recreation Services, Adult Services and Therapy Services.  The Els for Autism Foundation serves families around the world, and also offers in-person programs and services at The Els Center of Excellence in Jupiter, Florida.

About The Els Center of Excellence

Located in Jupiter, Florida, The Els Center of Excellence is a world-class, 26-acre campus that is home to three separate nonprofit organizations: The Els for Autism Foundation, The Learning Center, A tuition-free, nonprofit, Palm Beach County public charter school serving students ages 3 – 14, and The Learning Academy: A tuition-free, nonprofit, Palm Beach County public charter school serving students ages 14 – 21.

Els Center of Excellence

The three non-profits co-exist on campus, sharing facilities such as a 300-seat auditorium, meeting rooms and spaces to conduct therapy sessions, a sensory arts garden, a golf course practice facility, two playgrounds, and an outdoor basketball/tennis play court. Having these essential components on one campus is not only a game-changer for the local autism community, but makes the campus the perfect hub for a variety of global outreach activities.

A capital campaign continues to secure funding to add an Adult Services Center, Medical & Research Services Facility and Sports Complex.  Once the campus is completed, the impact will be magnified!

Learn more about The Els Center of Excellence Campus



Els For Autism Foundation

The Nonprofit of The Year award is given to an organization whose strategic vision, passion and perseverance have led to extraordinary outcomes for the community it serves.  Recipients of this award generally utilize new approaches in overcoming obstacles to achieve its mission.



Els for Autism Foundation earned the 2019 Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. This is the highest level of transparency available!   

A GuideStar Seal of Transparency indicates that a nonprofit has provided key information in its Nonprofit Profile. By providing up-to-date information, nonprofits allow potential donors and funders to make educated decisions about the work they do to make the world a better place.

Els For Autism Foundation GuideStar Nonprofit Report