Tell us about Therapeutic Focus
Therapeutic Focus (TF) is my heart: a passionate, outpatient pediatric therapy clinic located in West Memphis, Arkansas. TF provides occupational, physical, and speech therapy services to predominantly impoverished children with disabilities while focusing on improving their overall functional performance in the areas of fine and gross motor skills and speech.
How has WBE certification benefited your business?
As a result of acquiring the WBE certification, I have been afforded the opportunity to not only successfully apply for a RFP, but also awarded a contract via the Memphis, TN school district. As an active participant involved in the Women's Business Center South, I was able to take an offered course that prepared business owners for pitch competitions and cultivating our "ask". The course also provided participants with information concerning building a pitch deck and a 90 second pitch. The course and the content presented by Vonesha Mitchell, Executive Director of WBC South was a completely new concept for me, yet it was very beneficial for me, as it also helped me to secure the winning bid/contract. After I submitted the RFP to the school district, I was asked to submit a pitch deck followed by an interview, in which I would be allotted a set amount of time for my pitch. Honestly, when I was told this information, I should have been terrified; however, I was not, I felt just the opposite. I felt empowered and well prepared for the task because the WBC south course prepared me for that very moment. I had a pitch deck ready to present, a 90 second pitch, and I had an "ask" prepared for the interview. As a result of participating in WBCS opportunities as well as having acquired the WBE certification, I possessed all of the tools needed for my business to apply for a RFP and win the contract. Consequently, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and applied for an RFP for the very first time in my professional career, and successfully was awarded the contract!
What do you intend to use the Lillie Knox Funds for?
Currently, I am in the process of modifying a new facility for Therapeutic Focus because I have outgrown the present facility that I rent, but due to lack of capital and being denied loans, this has been an enormous challenge. It is imperative that I am able to make the necessary modifications to the building because it will enable me to offer more services to more severely disabled children.
Many of the children that I offer therapy to are diagnosed with Autism, Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and many are non-verbal and even wheelchair bound. My new building will be equipped with a sensory room that will provide a swing for children that are non-ambulatory, lights that can be dimmed, which is needed for children that have light sensitivities and sensory dysfunction, specialized textured seating that will provide children with the input within their body needed to reduce melt downs (which is targeted in occupational therapy sessions), an interactive board on the wall, which will be utilized to promote conversations within speech therapy sessions and even a small rock climbing wall to facilitate eye and hand and foot coordination, needed for those individuals with deficits resulting in a need for physical therapy services. I've purchased some of these items, however, many items I have not purchased due to the lack of accessible funds for me to make the much needed purchase.