Manju's superpower is her ability to connect with every type of client. Whether they are six or sixty years old, she takes the time to get on their level and connect with them to create a strong bond that encourages trust and dedication. Manju attributes her superpower to her skills of observation and assessment. She doesn't simply throw her clients into a cookie-cutter plan but makes an effort to understand their specific needs and creates an individualized program just for them.
For example, Manju never had the opportunity to work with an individual who uses a wheelchair. Still, when they signed up, she took the initiative to learn everything she could to help. She went so far as to pretend that she was in a wheelchair herself to critically analyze what she could and couldn't do, how it would limit her in the real world, and what areas of improvement would be utilized to create a better life.
Due to this ability to connect and the dedication to providing excellent care, Manju can serve a wide variety of clients, from a double amputee to a teen with Autism. Manju doesn't turn anyone away and will pursue every avenue to ensure that her clients get the attention and care they need to become stronger, healthier people who can apply their newly learned skills into real-life action.
“Watching my clients make incredible progress in such a short time is amazing to see. I am humbled and excited that I get to be a part of their journey and help them take the next step in creating a healthier life."
We at Special Strong believe that the extensive education of our trainers is one of the best investments we can pursue to provide the highest quality instruction and care to our clients. Manju has been dedicated to studying personal training and adaptive special needs training. You can find the complete list of her certifications below.
- Collin County Community College, Plano, TX 2008-2010
- Associate in Science, Physical Education
- University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX 2010-2012
- Bachelors with a dual major in Child Learning and Development and Psychology
- Arizona State University 2015-2016
- Masters of Education Degree in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Learning about the Special Needs Community
After moving to the United States with her family from India, Manju spent her initial few years volunteering at local animal shelters. Serving those in need was her passion, and when asked by a friend to help with a child with special needs, she said yes. She soon realized that this community needed her, and she began looking for ways to serve. Manju completed formal education in the field of applied behavioral analysis and worked in this service industry for the next 12 years before starting Special Strong.
Manju had always been an advocate for exercise and actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle. She realized that while programs were available for the public, they rarely were accessible to those with special needs. She recognized that this missing service was one of the primary reasons why the special needs community had a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. Upon doing more research on how she could help, she found Special Strong. After learning that Special Strong provides fitness to people of all disabilities in an adaptive and inclusive environment, she decided to expand the scope of her services by combining her education, work experience, and passion for fitness to improve lives. With her husband acting as her cheerleader and providing the support she needed to get the franchise started, Manju was able to dive in.
Into the Future
After witnessing the gaps in the fitness programs available to the special needs community and how it is possible to make a difference in the lives of so many people, Manju wants to change the foundation of expectations.
Manju's long-term goals are "changing the system, not them." She wants to provide individualized wellness programs for all those with disabilities and special needs so that they can make meaningful changes through fitness. To do this, she plans to expand her facility and design it exclusively for adaptive services for her clients. In addition, Manju hopes to create job opportunities and hire her own clients.