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SLP, Compassion and Lifelong Commitment, CNA as Undergrad, African-American

The Master’s Degree Program in Speech Language Pathology at the University of XXXX is my first choice among MS-SLP programs for a variety of reasons, from the sheer excellence of your program to its flexible online coursework. An African-American woman, now 30, I feel strongly that my love of music and growing awareness of music as a tool for the SLP Professional, makes me a natural for SLP. As a drummer in a garage band, mothing excites me as much as sound, and the passion that I have for its appreciation and celebration can be very contagious. This will help me to inspire members of my community, young and old alike, many of whom are learning or re-learning the art of verbal communication, after a traumatic event such as an accident or a stroke; or the very young ones in need of further appreciation and production of sound. As someone devoted to social justice and community uplift, I believe that my greatest strength is my compassion, and lifelong commitment to helping people.

Patient and creative in the design of therapy materials and lesson plans, I adapt easily to a new environment. I believe I can make a difference in patient’s lives as they recover, regain confidence and reclaim their voice for communication – as well as learning to communicate for the first time. I want to be able to advocate for patient’s needs by supporting and empowering them, always continuing to learn and staying active contributing to research. A nontraditional student, I earned my bachelors from XXU in Communication Science & Disorders, and have continued to take science courses to boost my GPA and better prepare myself for graduate school. I started working in the communication sciences field as a behavior therapist following my graduation and continued in this position for 2 years until I became the primary caregiver for my grandmother, struggling to recover from a stroke and a hip replacement, until she passed away. In my role as a Behavior Therapist working with school age children with communication and autism spectrum disorders, I gained experience implementing therapy programs based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) principles in collaboration with parents and teachers.

As an undergraduate, I completed observerships with Speech Pathologists at my University’s Speech and Hearing clinic. I was also an undergraduate research assistant which helped me to get started in my area of research specialization: Swallowing Rehabilitation. As a research assistant, I learned a great deal about the “Relation Among Age, Gender, and Oral/Palatal Dimensions on Anterior and Posterior Lingual-Palatal Pressures in Healthy Adults” under the supervision of my professor and doctoral students. I assisted in collecting and entering data for trials and was responsible for making sure that all research materials and testing tools were properly sanitized and stored. I have great hope of assisting another professor in the area of Swallowing Rehabilitation.

Additionally, I earned my Certified Nursing Assistant License and worked as a CNA throughout my undergraduate years; spending my weekends and summers working in assisted living homes, nursing homes, and at-home care, learning a lot about geriatrics. I learned how important proper supportive, bedside, and palliative care was to a patient. This was my first-time providing hands on care to post stroke patients and learning how their speech and cognitive functions were significantly impaired as a result. Finally, I have served as a volunteer mentor and coach for my county’s Special Olympics team, helping to motivate student athletes with learning and developmental disabilities.

My long-term goals are to start my own clinic and create a foundation that provides free educational and technological resources for parents and teachers supporting children and students with speech and language disorders.

I thank you for considering my application.

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