STEM3 Academy students with Help Group Administrators and Executive staff, (L-R) Dr. Jason Bolton, Vice President of Programs; Dr.Diane Flannery, Senior Director of Design and Strategy; Dr.Ellis Crasnow, Director of STEM3 Academy and STEM Education; Dr.Susan Berman, COO; Dr.Barbara Firestone, CEO; Tom Komp, Senior Vice President.

STEM3 Academy, a new innovative high school that’s the first of its kind in the country, is now open serving students with social and learning differences with a passion for science and technology within the greater Los Angeles area. The mission of STEM3 Academy is to connect the particular strengths of students with social and learning differences, including autism, with an innovative and rigorous STEM curriculum that positions students for future success.

STEM3 Academy is the newest school operated by The Help Group, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit dedicated to serving children, adolescents and young adults with special needs related to autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays, abuse and emotional problems. The school is unique in providing a rich and varied curriculum designed to develop the natural skills and abilities of its students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related disciplines.

“The Help Group is thrilled to open this truly unique school. The opening of STEM3 Academy promises to change life options for students,” said Dr. Susan Berman, COO of The Help Group. “The next generation of scientists and engineers are sitting in our classrooms. We’re helping these students realize their full potential and preparing them to fill high-quality jobs.”

As many as 85 percent of adults with social and learning differences are either unemployed or underemployed, yet there will be 8.65 million STEM-related jobs available by 2018. STEM3 Academy uniquely prepares its students to take advantage of the opportunities available in STEM-related fields after graduation.

“At STEM3 Academy, we want to address the difficulty students sometimes have post high school by developing their 21st century skills,” said Dr. Ellis Crasnow, director of STEM3 Academy. “Our curriculum integrates social interaction, communication and participation to prepare students with social differences to take advantage of a multitude of opportunities in STEM-related fields with confidence and success.”

Both required and elective classes encourage participation and cooperation among students as they ready themselves for a world in which collaborating and making presentations are as essential as keyboarding and coding. Students will develop this literacy through in-class projects as well as internships, senior projects and personalized education plans. STEM3 Academy also offers an award-winning robotics program, computer programming, wide range of AP classes, digital arts and videography, internships and a state-of-the-art Innovation Lab.

STEM3 Academy offers open enrollment through the year, a residential program to house out-of-state students, and door-to-door transportation for local Southern California students. For more information or to schedule a tour, visit

About The Help Group
Founded in 1975, The Help Group is the largest, most innovative and comprehensive nonprofit of its kind in the United States serving children with special needs related to autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays, abuse and emotional problems. The Help Group’s nine specialized day schools offer pre-K through high school programs for more than 1,500 students. Its broad range of mental health and therapy services, child abuse and residential programs extends its reach to more than 6,000 children and their families each year.