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Friends Interpreting Services

Friends Interpreting Services, LLC, Alice Anne Friends

Title / Role: Owner
Location: Ranson, West Virginia
Formed in: 2011
My successes.

Friends Interpreting Services is now a General Service Administration (GSA) vendor, providing interpreting services to the U.S. federal government, and has four GSA clients. The company was also a 2018 American Small Business Championship finalist.

How SCORE helped.

Friends worked with SCORE mentor Nathan Idio, whom she met with through video conference calls using a remote ASL interpreter. Friends got help from Idio on doing the business modifications necessary to become a GSA vendor. Friends estimate that doing the GSA modification through SCORE saved her about $16,000.

“My mentor is very special because he finally broke the barrier for me, and he sees that I am successful and will continue to be because of his willingness to mentor me,” says Friends.

How Did Your Business Get Started?

Alice Anne Friends, the owner of Friends Interpreting Services, was born without the ability to hear. From seventh grade on, she learned in a mainstream classroom without the aid of an American Sign Language interpreter. The result? Friends graduated high school at a fourth-grade reading level. But when she enrolled in Gallaudet University, America’s only college for the deaf, everything changed. She began to excel academically and went on to graduate school, where she studied Deaf Education.

After three years of working at a top ASL interpreting agency in Washington, D.C., Friends decided to strike out on her own. But her business venture was interrupted by the birth of twins in 2005, and then another set of twins a few years later. In 2011, Friends established Friends Interpreting Services, which provides American Sign Language interpreters in medical, government, educational, and business settings. Running the business has not only brought Friends success but has also allowed her to work while caring for her four children.

712 H St NE PMB 98848
Washington, DC 20002
(800) 634-0245

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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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