Jessica Hannan was 23 years old when she started her occupational therapy business in Moruya.
Now at 25, she is making a big difference in the lives of Eurobodalla families.
Ms Hannan won the Outstanding Young Entrepreneur Award at the 2019 Eurobodalla Business Awards.
She said motivation came from her grandfather's words, just before he died: "Go keep helping the kids, because no one else does".
With $800 in her bank account and no knowledge about how to run a business, Ms Hannan moved into her parents' holiday home and gave it a go.
"I was very young and naive, but I just worked really hard," she said.
She said most people her age would be saving for a house deposit, which she used to build a business.
She had no financial help.
"I was lucky I had a really supportive family, my mum and dad let me live in their holiday house," she said.
"(But) I did it all by myself. I had no financial help from anyone.
"My parents would pat me on the back - they're pretty old-fashioned - and said, 'if you're doing this, it's your thing'."
Ms Hannan invited her best friend, Gabrielle (Gabbie) Johnson - who won Young Employee of the Year at the Eurobodalla Business Awards - to work with her.
Read the family's side of the story: A gift: Moruya family praises occupational therapist after years struggling for services
She said there was only a handful of therapists in the area, which discouraged people to live here.
"People don't move to regional areas with children with disabilities because they think we don't have the services," she said.
"Even when I was working in Nowra, a lot of parents were offered jobs in Batemans Bay or Moruya but they didn't move.
"It's an amazing area to be in, and if we have really good and the highest-quality services, that will make a world of difference."
It can be isolating for us (therapists) because we have to reach out all the time, and they're not just what you read about in a book.Jessica Hannan
She hopes to provide a "city-quality service in a regional area" and has plans for a specialised sensory room.
"Me and Gabbie want to train in it, then bring the actual design of the sensory rooms back to Moruya," she said.
"(We) want to open up a more early-intervention specific service because we feel there's a massive lack of need."
She said the NDIS funding was good for therapists, allowing families to pay for services.
The region came with its challenges, however, with many "tricky" children.
Ms Hannan said she had asked other professionals how to manage her South Coast cases, but "they just look at you blankly and say, 'we don't know'".
"These kids are really tricky down here," she said.
"You don't get the big wins as often.
"It can be isolating for us because we have to reach out all the time, and they're (children) not just what you read about in a book.
"(But) we're not going to leave.
"We've had to adapt, do courses, and up-skill ourselves to cope with a very high demand," she said.
Ms Hannan has also developed university course work and is on the advisory board for Western Australia University and their Diploma of FASD (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome), guiding the occupational therapy component.
She said she worked with the justice system, advocating for people with FASD who were in incarceration, developing therapy plans in the jails and writing reports advocating for those children not to go to juvenile detention.