Helping Those Needing Help The Most
In 1990, Jing Zhou came to the United States to pursue a master’s degree in behavior analysis and therapy at Southern Illinois University. Driven by a passion to help children with autism or other special needs, she was determined to make a difference in their lives and quickly recognized how challenging it is to work with children who exhibit severe problem behaviors such as aggression and self-injury. Also, she wanted to address the heartbreak of families’ whose quality of life is so impaired due to the problem behaviors of their loved ones.
Pursing this passion, in 2000 Interventions Unlimited was established to provide an exceptional education for children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. Motivated by the philosophy that all children can learn with the right instructional approach, Interventions Unlimited teaches special needs children cognitive, social, academic, adaptive, communication and motor skills.
Today they are recognized as a leading ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) service provider in the Central Florida area, with more than 70 behavior analysts, ABA therapists, special educators and administrative professionals on their staff.
Starting as a part-time, home-based business, Zhou grew the company and in 2007 established Alpine Academy to provide an educational alternative to children with special needs. Along the way, she recognized the need for expert consultants to guide the business’ growth. In 2012, Zhou sought out the assistance of the Florida Small Business Development Center’s (FSBDC) Growth Acceleration Services to aid her in planning for strategic expansion and was introduced to Jill McLaughlin who did an in-depth analysis of the business and identified key performance indicators to monitor operations and company finances.
“I’m very appreciative for the consulting I received from the Growth Acceleration services at the FSBDC at UCF,” Zhou said. “The recommendations have given me the tools to plan more strategically and we have improved our operations and business management. We are now in a much better position for growth.”
Zhou’s vision and persistence have certainly paid off as she was recognized by the Small Business Administration as the 2014 Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Florida.