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

Updated: Jan 24

The Master’s Degree Program in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of XXXX is my first choice among MS-SLP programs for various reasons, from the sheer excellence of your schedule to its flexible online coursework. As 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. As a drummer in a garage band, nothing excites me as much as sound, and my passion for its appreciation and celebration can be very contagious. This will help me inspire young and old community members who 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 needing 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.

I adapt quickly to a new environment and am patient and creative in designing therapy materials and lesson plans. I believe I can make a difference in patients' lives as they recover, regain confidence, reclaim their voice for communication, and learn to communicate for the first time. I want to be able to advocate for patients’ needs by supporting and empowering them, always continuing to learn, and staying active in contributing to research. A non-traditional student, I earned my bachelor's from XXU in Communication Science & Disorders and have continued to take science courses to boost my GPA and better prepare myself for graduate school. After graduation, I started working as a behavior therapist in the communication sciences field. I continued in this position for two years until I became the primary caregiver for my grandmother. She struggled to recover from a stroke and a hip replacement until she died. 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 get started in my 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 a professor and doctoral students. I assisted in collecting and entering data for trials and was responsible for ensuring 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. Throughout my undergraduate years, I worked as a CNA, spending my weekends and summers in assisted living homes, nursing homes, and at-home care, learning a lot about geriatrics. I knew 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. Finally, I have served as a volunteer mentor and coach for my county’s Special Olympics team, helping motivate student-athletes with learning and developmental disabilities.

My long-term goals are to start my 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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