Jon Nowicki changed his major several times and attended multiple colleges before figuring out what his purpose was.
Working for Central Valley Autism Project in Modesto changed the trajectory of the 1999 Ceres High School grad’s life.
“I was really drawn to the field once I got into it,” said Nowicki, 39, a former multi-sport athlete with the Bulldogs. “It’s something I ended up doing and loving. They gave me the foundation of everything I’ve done since then.”
Nowicki, his wife Roshika, and Robert and Brittany Johnson founded the Behavior Management Foundation (BMF) in 2015.
“It’s based out of Visalia but we have offices all over from Lodi to Bakersfield,” said Nowicki, chairman of the board and clinical director for BMF. “When we first started the business, it was pretty difficult. We worked for free for a year and a half. Most of it is funded through insurance now.”
BMF provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment to clients with autism spectrum disorders in home, community, and school settings.
“It’s a human-service job and there’s a lot of math involved,” Nowicki said. “You’re able to see progress through all the data we collect. Our intervention is working. We’ve grown every year. I’d anticipate that trend to continue.”
Behavior Management Foundation has 150 workers.
“The employees are the most important part of the company,” Nowicki said. “Without them, we couldn’t do any of this. They help with the kids’ success.”
BMF currently provides services to 300 people, aged 2-21.
“We work with kids with disabilities,” Nowicki said. “We help them out with things they have difficulties doing. The best part about this is setting goals, watching them grow and achieving those goals. It’s a slow process. It takes a lot of hard work and patience.”
BMF’s clientele has dropped by 30 percent due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The business will continue to offer in-house visits and parent training through tele-help.
“We’re considered an essential business so we’re able to operate,” he said. “We have safety precautions in place.”
Nowicki worked for Central Valley Autism Project for 10 years.
He was a behavior intervention specialist for Tulare County Office of Education for two years.
He was employed by Sylvan Union School District as a behavior analyst for three years.
He got his Master’s degree from University of West Florida in 2014.
Nowicki attended the University of Missouri, Modesto Junior College and Long Beach State prior to earning a business administration degree with an emphasis in finance from Stanislaus State in 2007.
He earned his Board Certified Behavior Analyst credential in 2014.
“My dad was a teacher,” he said. “I didn’t want to teach. I’m doing similar things now.”
Nowicki collected a total of eight varsity letters at Ceres High, including four in wrestling, three in track and field and one in football.
He placed eighth while competing in the 152-pound bracket at the CIF State Wrestling Championships during his senior year.
Nowicki won four straight matches after losing in the first round.
“The ability to fight through adversity in wrestling is a key thing I use in business and everyday life,” he said.