I hope to be accepted to the MS Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders at XXXX University based on my multilingual abilities and multicultural experiences. In addition to being a native speaker of Russian, I am especially proud of the intensity of my devotion to American Sign Language, and I am most pleased to be rapidly approaching an intermediate stage. ASL is at the top of my priority list.
My appreciation for and contribution to diversity is also grounded in the fact that my mother is Polish and Ukrainian, and my father is Russian and Mongolian. Born and raised in Tiraspol, Moldova, we moved to the U.S. when I was 9-and-a-half. I identify very heavily with the Slavic community here in the city that we have made our home, Sacramento, California, among many tens of thousands of other immigrants from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belorussia, Bulgaria, etc. This is primarily this community that I seek to serve as an SLP professional since I can excel at tailoring therapy to respond to cultural influences.
The Slavic community in the USA underuses social and mental health services for a variety of reasons mostly related to bias, both against mental illness – which is seen as some kind of weakness at best or deformity at worst – and the American health care system more generally speaking. Many American Slavs are racist, and this has a devastating impact on their mental health and development of community spirit. As a member of the Slavic community myself, my heart aches to see so many members of my community suffer from mental health issues in silence if not secrecy. Something similar can be said about issues in speech, ‘impediments’ which are often stigmatized in the same way as mental health issues, with the sufferer feeling ashamed as if it were somehow their fault. I want to contribute to making a difference in this area, particularly with special needs children in the Slavic community.
I want to promote acceptance, understanding, compassion, and solidarity with children that have special needs. One of my goals as a volunteer, for example, is starting a Sunday School program for children with special needs in my church, and even training current Sunday School teachers in effective behavior management in the classroom. I would also like to start a support group for those who have children with special needs within the Slavic community.
Eventually, based on successful completion of your master's program at ____ State, I would like to continue my studies at the doctoral level. I also look forward to gaining extensive experience working in several different areas of my field: special needs, swallowing, voice therapy, traumatic brain injury and stroke patients. Finally, my central long-term goal would be to someday open my own clinic that would incorporate the use of therapy dogs to enrich therapy sessions. I love dogs and I love Speech pathology; so, the combination for me stands at the center of my own aspirations with respect to both research and practice.
I am most proud of the fact that I went on a two-week missionary trip to Mexico to help build houses for the homeless, because it symbolizes my ethic of service. Most of all, for me, this ethic and extremely elevated level of motivation to serve are channeled to my intense desire to help people with communication impairments, especially children. I want to make a difference in my local community. I am good at what I do and when I worked as a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant all my supervisors encouraged me to pursue this career and expressed their confidence that I would make a great SLP. I want to center my life around research and practice in multilingual speech therapy and I also seek a lifetime engagement with Animal Assisted Therapy.
The oldest in my family, I have three younger brothers that I practically raised because my parents needed to work multiple jobs to support our family. I have multiple job experiences where I worked with bilingual children and one of the schools I worked at as a Speech Pathology Assistant was a Title 1 school, which means that most of the students came from low-income families.
I took a class that focused on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and I have experience providing speech therapy to children with multiple intellectual disabilities including ASD. I also worked in an Autism Preschool as well as providing services to special needs students in middle and high school.
I have an uncle who has communication difficulties following a stroke. Thus, I appreciate first-hand the devastating effects of such a scenario on the entire family, including the financial aspects. I understand the nature of the stress that the family is under. I also volunteer at Yolo Adult Health Day Center working with individuals that have Dementia, Traumatic Brain Injury, or difficulties resulting from a stroke. Working at this center has reminded me of how important it is to look at the whole individual and their full range of emotions: laughs, tears, smiles, and often heartache. My mother-in-law is a survivor of breast and nasopharyngeal cancers as well as two ischemic strokes. I know what it is like to be a family member of someone in the hospital and this will help me in my role as a clinician.
Thank you for considering my application to XXXX University.
MS Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders