Meet Susan Wood, director of The Hope Center for Autism based in Fort Worth. The organization founded by Wood and her husband Glenn in 2007 serves masses of children and their families across Tarrant County, seeking therapy and a safe enviornment.
We wanted to know more about Wood and she was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself, the center and the families it serves.
Dawn Tongish: Please begin by telling us about The Hope Center for Autism?
Susan Wood: It was founded in 2007 by me and my husband, Glenn along with a group of concerned parents who saw a need for a different type of center to serve families affected by autism. The Hope Center for Autism was born from the need for a supportive environment and more ABA Therapy for families in the Fort Worth area. Parents formed together to agree on what was needed and what would be beneficial during their journey.
DT: What are your duties at The Hope Center for Autism?
SW: I am the executive director. My duties included over seeing the day to day as well as all out reach events and sharing Hope with the community.
DT: How did you become involved with The Hope Center for Autism, and why are you so passionate about the work being done at the organization?
SW: The Hope Center for Autism
is a labor of love. We founded the center because we saw a need for something that was not being offered in this area for these children.
I am very blessed, many people never know what they are here for, not me this is why I was born. This is what I am supposed to do. Take care of the children.
DT: Why do you work in the non profit sector?
SW: Because I am a giver. and I want to serve this population and give them an affordable high quality place for ABA therapy.
DT: It can be difficult for any non profit to pay the bills. How do you stay afloat?
SW: We talk to any and everyone who will listen, we hold fundraisers. People who believe in our work hold events for us. We work tirelessly for this cause.
DT: How can the people of Tarrant County and beyond help meet your needs for 2014? What are your biggest needs?
SW: We have a need for each client to have a tablet. We would love a library for our clients while being served by Hope Center to have one. They would be child driven so each one would be set up to help that one child. Our main focus this year is to put our scholarships back in place. We gave out $32.000.00 in scholarships in 2012 but last year due to raising cost we were unable to offer any scholarships.
DT: What is the most memorable moment in your experiences at The Hope Center for Autism?
SW: The first words from a non verbal 8 year old. Potty training a 14 yr old , 6 year olds first time to say momma. There are so many I cannot list just one.
DT: What is the first thing you do when you walk into work each day?
SW: I go room to room saying and getting my hellos from the children.