Everyone has a different path that leads them to choose a career, and in many cases, it takes a little longer to get there. This was the case with Supplemental Health Care’s Care More Spotlight winner, Kristen F., SLP-CCC.
She had earned an undergraduate degree in elementary education, but instead of pursuing a teaching career, she chose to focus on caring for her children as a stay-at-home mom. Over the years, her circumstances changed, and she knew it was time to re-enter the workforce, but she wanted to find something that would still allow her the time and flexibility for her children. One day, a conversation with a fellow pre-school mom gave her the idea that would lead her to a career as a speech-language pathologist.
“We were talking one day, and she knew that I had an undergrad in elementary education,” Kristen explained recently. “She had just graduated from a great online program and suggested I look into pursuing an SLP career.”
Within a month of that simple conversation, Kristen began the classes that would change both her life and the lives of students at Summit Academy in Ohio. She is going into her fifth year working in the school district as a speech-language pathologist, and she couldn’t be happier with the direction her career has taken.
“I have worked exclusively in this school setting for children with autism and ADD, and I love making a difference in a child’s life. Seeing their face light up when it all “clicks” is especially rewarding and reassures me that I made the right career decision.”
In a short time, Kristen has become a trusted leader within the school’s Special Education department. She is known for developing concise IEP plans as well as being a great teammate and mentor to other SLPs. She helps set the example for her peers on setting goals and executing plans with an efficiency that shows up in each students’ learning and growth progress.
One example of her ability to help her students achieve life-changing successes is her work with a young student suffering from apraxia. For weeks, before the holiday season, the student was struggling to say the word ‘Santa,’ and it meant a lot to him.
Throughout the school day, Kristen would make a point of popping into his class at random times to ask him “who brings the presents on Christmas?” just to give him the extra prompting and practice he needed. Finally, a week before the holiday break from school, the young boy was saying it on his own with no modeling and prompting. Every time he said the word ‘Santa,’ his face would break into a wide smile and he beamed with pride.
“One of the reasons I really enjoy working for Supplemental Health Care is the people. Everyone helps me work through any important challenges or issues that come up regarding my family, and they have even reached out during those times to make sure my children are doing okay. When your employer cares like that, it makes you feel valued.”