Alyssa Ciarrocchi is a thirty-three-year-old currently living in Hammonton, NJ. She studied at Rowan University and graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a minor in Writing Arts, and a certification in Special Education and Reading. Upon graduation, Alyssa started working at Triton Regional High School. From 2010 to 2015, she taught Resource Room, 10th grade inclusion, and the Behavioral Room. During her time at Triton, she went back to St. Joseph’s University to obtain my Masters’ Degree. Ciarrocchi finished in 2014 and went back to Rowan University for her Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant certification and graduated in 2015. Once certified as a Learning Consultant, Alyssa took a job in Camden and worked there until 2016. She found that she wanted to be back in the classroom and finished her teaching career at Clearview Regional High School in their Multiply Disabled Room.
During this time, Alyssa Ciarrocchi took a part time job at Brett DiNovi and Associates and fell in love with their approach to helping students. She has recently finished her Applied Behavior Analysis Certification at Capella University and will be sitting for her boards in the next few months to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. Alyssa Ciarrocchi currently work with Brett DiNovi and Associates as a Registered Behavior Technician and enjoy working in home and in schools with children who have the classification of Autism. She truly could not imagine working in any other field as she enjoys working with learners, parents, and teachers and seeing the successful changes made every day.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I went into education because of my younger brother. He is the reason that I found a love for the field and his teachers are the reason why I believe that anything is possible. My brother has a learning disability but throughout his educational career, his teachers never gave up on him and strived to help him become the best person he could be. My parents were involved in every step and the communication lines were always kept open. I found this to be my dream job and I wanted to be alike those teachers that helped my brother become who he is today.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day consists on in-district cases where I work 1:1 with a learner. During my time in district, I support my learner and his/her teachers in finding the best approach for his/her learning needs. After school, I work in home with learners and their families in finding the best approach to meet their children’s needs. The “aha” moments and break throughs fulfill my days.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am a planner and have an amazing relationship with my husband, mom and sister. When I find that I am thinking repeatedly about an idea, I mention it to one of them and gauge their response. If I find that they have interest, I usually go forth and plan it out. I do not rest until I see the end result.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me is planning for other people. I love to be involved in other’s big moments. I was the Maid of Honor in my sister and two best friend’s weddings. Nothing brings me more excitement than the planning process and seeing others so happy. When planning my own wedding, it was the best time of my life. I was able to take dreams that I have had since I was little and bring them to life. Planning means celebrations and everyone deserves to be celebrated.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit of mine that makes me more productive is that once I start something, I do not stop. In college, I would be assigned a project and would have months before it would be due, but I would go home and get to work immediately.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Never sweat the small stuff. Life is full of challenges and things change on the daily. Focus on yourself, your closest friends, and your family and everything will be okay.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I love my hair straight, but everyone tells me to leave it curly! I cannot think of anything else that comes to mind!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Plan! I use a day planner because I love to write things down and cross them out. But, plan and plan and plan. Do not wait until last minute to complete a project.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Asking for help is very important. I would not be where I am today if I did not ask for help and receive the support I was given.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I had was letting an administrator get me down and I lost my own sense of worth. I overcame it by seeking help from family. Never let anyone make you feel less than you are!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Opening businesses for adults with disabilities. I believe everyone needs to be able to have a talent or outlet that makes them happy. With that said, I think that adults with disabilities need more options for their career choices. If you find something that you love, spread the wealth, and help others to make it something they love, too!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I spent recently would be on food to cook a large family meal. I love having everyone together especially on a Sunday before the work week begins. It was really good, too!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I love Facebook because it keeps you connected with family and friends who may be a few minutes down the road or states away. I love pictures and seeing how families have grown and what they have been up to especially during the Pandemic when being together is a little bit harder.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Brett Dinovi recently published a book with Paul Gavoni called Behavioral Karma and I recommend this to everyone regardless of whether you are in the field. It provides scientific principles that helped both men become who they are today, and everyone can benefit from reading and practicing these principles.
What is your favorite quote?
“Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give… it’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.” ― Rocky Balboa
• Life gives you so much to be grateful for.
• Close friends and family are all that truly matters
• Everyone needs someone to believe in them
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.