In August 2014, four women from South Korea visited San Antonio to participate in a program on “Promoting Women Business Leaders”. During their visit, they met with representatives of LiftFund (formerly Accion Texas) to learn about the microloans and services they provide to women business owners. After expressing the desire to visit a small business and meet with a business owner who had benefited from their services & programs, the visitors were afforded the opportunity to meet with Ms. Yadira Medina Torres, founder and owner of the Stepping Stones Pediatric Feeding & Speech Therapy Clinic, to learn about her success story.
Stepping Stones Pediatric Feeding & Speech Therapy Clinic is a rehabilitation facility for children facing feeding challenges and speech & language difficulties. They take a unique and innovative approach to therapy, which has proven highly successful, through programs that include sensory techniques, such as calming music & neurologically stimulating art aids, to make treatment a positive experience for the children & families they serve.
Each treatment room is themed and decorated with murals designed to stimulate the neurological changes that increase appetite, language, and sensory integration and also provide a warm and welcoming environment for families and children. From the Jungle Room and the Under the Sea Room to the Candyland Room and the Cave Room, they create an enjoyable and positive atmosphere with scientific research given proven benefits, providing an overall fun and colorful experience for the young patients.
The Korean visitors enjoyed touring the clinic and were especially inspired by Yadira Medina Torres’ empowering story about its beginnings. Having witnessed her son going through severe medical complications that jeopardized his life, Yadira explained how she vowed to dedicate herself to helping children. After getting a degree in speech pathology, she worked in a variety of different settings in the San Antonio area. She took classes with Accion Texas (now LiftFund), quit her job, and with only $500 in her pocket, she founded the independently sustained clinic out of a small office, despite initially have little knowledge and experience about owning a business.
Not only did Yadira’s story about the success of her business and entrepreneurial spirt impress and inspire the visitors, but her passionate quest to be a fountain of hope in improving the quality of life of children with severe disabling syndromes deeply touched and moved the Korean visitors, so much so that it brought several of them to tears. The women are still in contact with Yadira to this day, a testament to the power of exchanges.