I am a young Italian American woman who has grown up in New York City. The Education Department of the City of New York currently employs me. I earned my BA in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology at Brooklyn College and hope to earn my master's degree in the same field devoting my life to the profession of Speech/Language Pathology. I am particularly dedicated to the study of neuro-motor communication and swallowing disorders, especially Parkinson ’s disease.
My family has kept up their abilities in the Italian language despite generations here in the USA and like most of my family I am fluent in Italian. Now, I am taking full advantage of how similar Spanish is and working towards fluency in Spanish as well, motivated by the vast numbers of Spanish speakers in NYC. I am making rapid progress because my boyfriend is Puerto Rican, and my sister is married to a man from the Dominican Republic - the four of us spend a lot of time together speaking mostly Spanish.
I work as a paraprofessional or teaching assistant for students with intellectual and physical disabilities, in NYC’s District XX, in a high school in a low-income neighborhood of Brooklyn called Sunset Park. My mostly Hispanic students, range across the Autism spectrum, some have Down’s syndrome, others are bipolar, and a few have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Many of my students receive services like physical and speech therapy and I get to witness these services being provided firsthand. Among the professionals with whom I interact, the SLP strikes me as the one making the most salient contribution, given the fundamental importance of speech and communication for human interaction. Thus, this is the career that I also look forward to for the balance of my professional lifetime, helping people, especially children, in the most fundamental and sustainable way possible, learning to communicate effectively despite their limitations. I look forward to educating parents of children with communication issues, to harness their full support in the most effective ways.
During my undergraduate work at Brooklyn College, I was fortunate to sit in on several speech evaluations. You could see the frustration and sadness behind these parents’ eyes as they looked on, their child innocently playing in the corner. The way that they spoke to the Speech Pathologist, with so much appreciation and gratefulness helped to convince me that this is what I want to spend my life doing, being able to look at a parent and tell them things will get better. Knowing that you are making a difference in someone’s life fills me up with so much purpose. The Speech Pathologist offers more than therapy, a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear, providing education and moral support to families.
My younger sister Jessica, who I am especially close to, has been a major inspiration in my career choice. Throughout her life she has struggled with learning disabilities and speech delays. My mother noticed that something was amiss when she was only two years old. She went for many screenings and tests, resulting in a diagnosis of a language delay. My sister did not speak well until the age of five and did not begin reading until she was in the third grade. Now, Jessica is seventeen, starting her senior year of High School, and part of an early college program. When she graduates, she will not only have a High School diploma but an associate degree. She wants to pursue an education in nursing, working with premature babies in the NICU. Once, when I heard someone ask her why she wants to become a nurse specializing in the care of premature infants, she quickly replied, “Just because you are weak and sick now, doesn’t mean you can’t grow up strong, you just need help and people who believe in you.” Jessica is a shining example of what Early Intervention and Speech Therapy can do for a child. Her big sister would like to think that she has played a positive role in helping Jessica to grow and thrive. I have learned many things from Jessica’s struggle that will be of immense value to me in my chosen career and course of study. I am certain that I will be remembering and revisiting many of our issues as a graduate student and I look forward to sharing some of our experiences with my colleagues in your program.
Thank you for considering my application.
SLP Masters Personal Purpose Statement Sample