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I Want To Pursue A Career In Speech Language Pathology

607 words - 2 pages

“Maria, I just met a girl named Maria!” What does a song from West Side Story have to do with my academic and career goals in speech-language pathology? Plenty. Why? Because I really did meet a girl named Maria and the experience made an impact in my life. As a volunteer in a public elementary school, I had the opportunity to work with low to high functioning students in the special education classroom. The teacher asked me to work with Maria, a second grader from a monolingual Spanish home. Suffering from a neurological disorder that inhibited her speech and other physical movements, we worked on computer games, crafts, and other activities during the time I spent with her. While my volunteer time with her was short, the experience was profound. An intelligent young girl, Maria opened my eyes to the frustrations of communication struggles and physical disabilities as I witnessed first-hand the difficulties and limits she faced daily in the classroom. Nevertheless, I was encouraged. Many of the activities we focused on were challenging, but she approached them with perseverance. Her speech was limited, but her actions, including a bright smile, communicated joy and satisfaction. At that time, I knew nothing of speech-language pathology, but I did know that working to support a student with these challenges was extremely gratifying and motivating.

I come to the study of communication disorders and speech-language pathology with an atypical background. Receiving a B.A. in Spanish and Political Science and working at a credit union for the majority of my professional career, I was following a corporate path. The loss of a good friend and the reevaluation of my life’s purpose initiated a transformation in my personal and professional life. Influenced by my experiences as a volunteer in public education and in a bilingual medical clinic interpretation program, I discovered and became interested in speech-language pathology. After thoroughly researching the career and shadowing...

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