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SLP, Speech Pathologist, Therapist, Multilingual Child of Chinese Immigrants to Vietnam then America

Updated: Jan 23

I am highly motivated and determined to achieve my central professional goal: becoming a licensed Speech Pathologist. I look forward to setting an example for others as a very hard worker and a minority pulling herself up by her bootstraps. Especially after my parents’ divorce when I was in Junior High, there was little that was ideal about my childhood. I learned to deal with adversity very young, making me strong, resourceful, and compassionate. I spent the first 14 years of my life in Vietnam, the child of Chinese immigrants. We moved to Hawaii in 2007. In addition to Vietnamese and English, I also speak, read, and write Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese.

I have something unique to offer to a school, clinic, hospital, or language center with many Asian patients/clients, especially Chinese and Vietnamese children. I have many dreams of helping children, especially the less fortunate ones born into families of scarce resources. I hope to start someday my clinic and research center geared towards particular, tailored, culturally appropriate attention for Asian and Asian-American children who face complex speech and language challenges. I keenly look forward to the lifelong celebration of Asian diversity in America, fomenting and fostering communication among Asians and all cultural groups.

I live in Honolulu, Hawaii, with my mom and older sister. I came here originally in 2007 and am now a US citizen. Adjustment to many things so far in my life has been difficult, beginning with the fact that I started as a member of a minority group in Vietnam, since many Vietnamese look down upon Chinese people. It took me a while to find my bearings as a college student, mainly because I had lost my grandparents and was traumatized by grief. Therefore, I ask for special consideration of my application despite my less-than-competitive GPA in light of my language abilities and the fact that my grades did improve throughout my studies.

Upon graduation, I became a licensed Registered Behavioral Technician (RBT), providing direct one-on-one ABA therapy with children, most of whom were Autistic, with a few diagnosed with various other developmental disorders. As a behavioral technician, I would teach the children language/communication, social skills, daily living/adaptive skills, pre-academic skills, etc. Some of my milestones included teaching a low-functioning boy of 6 with severe Down Syndrome to “touch mommy’s picture” when presenting a picture of his mom. After about two months of physical prompting and delivering reinforcers using Discrete Trial Training, he can walk and “touch mommy,” “give to Mommy,” and “kiss mommy.” I collaborated with many professionals, SLPs, OTs, PTs, and teachers. I learned a great deal from these professionals, especially speech pathologists. Another highlight of this period was teaching an 8-year-old girl with severe cognitive disorders and communication and social delays - to successfully make eye contact to receive a reinforcer (cereal; music).

I thank you for consideration of my application.

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