In 1985 when I declared communication sciences and disorders as my major, I did not have the foresight to realize that more than thirty years later I would still be looking forward to going to work every day. Each day, I have the privilege of working with students in a public school. My youngest students, only three years old, challenge me to help them find their voice and navigate their world. It is a responsibility that I do not take lightly.
As a mentor for graduate students from local universities, I am in a position to influence future speech-language pathologists and again, it is not a responsibility I take lightly. I enjoy learning from these young professionals and hope that they learn from my experience as well. My greatest influence, however, has been on my daughter Lisa, now a senior in high school. Lisa has been watching me with my students and listening to me talk about my job her entire life. From a young age, she declared she wanted to be a SLP like her mom but as the years passed she has truly made this decision on her own. I look forward to her college years and watching her passion grow for this remarkable career. I know being an SLP will reward her many moments of pride, joy, and awe as she makes a difference in the lives of her future clients.