We had the good fortune of connecting with Adina Rich and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adina, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Having been an educator in both the private and public sector, I had the opportunity to work with a lot of students. Many were successful with traditional teaching approaches. But for every one that was, there were three that weren’t. Those students tended to become discouraged, withdrawn and ultimately, lacked so much confidence in their academic abilities that they gave up.. I felt there had to be a better way to support these students and their parents who also felt the effects of frustration . I saw clear communication gaps between schools and parents. Parents did not always understand how to talk to school professionals because they did not understand the lingo that the school was using, and many times school professionals were not able to recognize parent concerns because parents were not specific enough in articulating what was working and where their child was struggling. Other times, parents knew there was a challenge with learning the material but the teacher was not familiar enough with district resources such as instructional, behavioral, or curriculum supports to know how to make necessary modifications in programming. Seeing a need to do things differently, (i.e. think out of the box, facilitate the development of collaborative or creative solutions to address student challenges, help parents to communicate what was working and or why something didn’t work) drove me to open my own business.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am a parent advocate and evaluator for families and children with special needs. I opened my clinical practice in 2003. Designing evaluations that meet the individual needs of students is very important. I will create a student’s evaluation plan for each specific student that matches the presenting concern the parent or student has. I love serving the families. My approach to advocacy is really unique because I truly try to work collaboratively with the school and family to find solutions for educational programming that work for everyone. I developed our new on-line parent advocacy academy for parents to learn how to navigate the world of 504 and special education. Parents can even check their child’s IEP or 504 plan against our recommended template. It’s a great option for parents who are not sure that they are ready to bring an advocate to a meeting or just want more information and to answer frequently asked questions about programming or questions about their child’s specific area of disability. My business plan continues to evolve. Some things have worked better than others. What I have learned is focus on what I am good at and develop a great network of referrals. I have also worked hard to develop a good work/life balance which is sometimes difficult when owning my own business.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Haywire in Plano is really good. Downtown McKinney is a great place to shop. Third Mondays in McKinney is also fun. The Allen Outlet mall is really nice because it’s big, has a good variety and it’s outside. E+S Steakhouse is a fun Brazilian steakhouse. And I love 52 seasons as well.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My father was an entrepreneur who created a successful family business. He encouraged me to pursue my dreams and has always been supportive of me. My children also inspire me to be better every day. I have been blessed to have been offered mentorships from district staff who worked with me.