Discipline: Communication Sciences & Disorders
I am currently a second-year graduate student of the University of Maine, Orono where I am working toward my M.A. in Communication Sciences & Disorders. During my undergraduate degree (B.A. in Communication Sciences & Disorders), I worked with children and adults with disabilities as a behavioral health professional at Care and Comfort. As a behavioral health professional I have had the opportunity to work in the homes of individuals with disabilities, which has allowed me to see a more intimate view of what it is like to live with a disability and how it impacts one’s family dynamic. Now as a graduate student clinician at the Conley Speech, Language and Hearing Center, I have had the opportunity to work with diverse groups of individuals and provide speech-language therapy to fit their needs. I have volunteered at the Healthy Hearing Clinic at the Special Olympics, and Eastern Maine Medical Center in their Speech Department for two years. I also volunteered as a conversation partner at the University of Maine where I was paired up with students in the Intensive English Institution to help with their English at the communication level, as well share American Culture with them and in return I got to learn about their culture. Through my job, graduate studies, and volunteer work I have had the pleasure to get to know and learn from individuals with various disabilities and their families, as well as help provide needed services, such as speech-language therapy. The joys I have experienced from my work and graduate studies has further confirmed that I want to become a professional that serves and helps individuals with disabilities and their families. Opportunities I have had to be a leader include our weekly Group Conferences at the Conley Speech, Language and Hearing Center, Supervisions at Care and Comfort, and group projects. During Group Conferences and Supervisions I have shown leadership skills through active listening, having an open mind, and brainstorming ideas that will help others. For example, during Group Conferences and Supervisions, attendees bring in achievements, struggles, and issues that they come across while working with their clients, and I listen while keeping an open mind, and then brainstorm and share ideas or potential solutions to help with the issues brought to the meetings. During group projects I have been a part of in my graduate studies, I help form a plan that suits the assignment/problem and organize and allocate duties to each group member to help execute the plan to complete the assignment.