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MS Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Slavic Diversity Sample, Multilingual, Multicultural, ASL

I hope to be accepted to the MS Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders at XXXX University largely on the basis of my multilingual abilities and multicultural experiences. In addition to being a native speaker of Russian, I am especially proud of the intensity of my devotion to American Sign Language and I am most pleased to be rapidly approaching an intermediate stage. ASL is at the top of my priority list.

My appreciation for and contribution to diversity is also grounded in the fact that my mother is Polish and Ukrainian and my father is Russian and Mongolian.  Born and raised in Tiraspol, Moldova, we moved to the U.S. when I was 9-and-a-half.  I identify very heavily with the Slavic community here in the city that we have made our home, Sacramento, California, among many tens of thousands of other immigrants from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belorussia, Bulgaria, etc. This is primarily this community that I seek to serve as an SLP professional since I am able to excel at tailoring therapy to respond to cultural influences.

The Slavic community in the USA underuses social and mental health services for a variety of reasons mostly related to bias, both against mental illness – which is largely seen as some kind of weakness at best or deformity at worst – and the American health care system more generally speaking. Many American Slavs are racist and this has a devastating impact on their mental health and development of community spirit. As a member of the Slavic community myself, my heart aches to see so many members of my community suffer from mental health issues in silence if not secrecy.  Something similar can be said about issues in speech, ‘impediments’ are often stigmatized in the same way as mental health issues, with the sufferer feeling ashamed as if he or she were somehow their fault. I want to contribute to making a difference in this area, in the Slavic community in particular, particularly with respect to special needs children.

I want to promote acceptance, understanding, compassion, and solidarity with children that have special needs. One of my goals as a volunteer, for example, is starting a Sunday School program for children with special needs in my church, and maybe even training current Sunday School teachers in effective behavior management in the classroom. I would also like to start a support group for those who have children with special needs within the Slavic community. 

Eventually, on the basis of successful completion of your Master’s Program at Sacramento State, I would like to continue my studies at the doctoral level. I also look forward to gaining extensive experience working in several different areas of my field: special needs, swallowing, voice therapy, traumatic brain injury and stroke patients.  Finally, my central long-term goal would be to someday open up my own clinic that would incorporate the use of therapy dogs to enrich therapy sessions. I love dogs and I love Speech pathology; so, the combination for me stands at the center of my own aspirations with respect to both research and practice. 

I am most proud of the fact that I went on a two-week missionary trip to Mexico to help build houses for the homeless, because it symbolizes my ethic of service. Most of all, for me, this ethic and very high level of motivation to serve are channeled to my intense desire to help people with communication impairments, especially children. I want to make a difference in my local community. I am good at what I do and when I worked as a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant all of my supervisors encouraged me to pursue this career and expressed their confidence that I would make a great SLP.  I want to center my life around research and practice in multilingual speech therapy and I also seek a lifetime engagement with Animal Assisted Therapy.

The oldest in my family, I have three younger brothers that I practically raised because my parents needed to work multiple jobs to support our family.  I have multiple job experiences where I worked with bilingual children and one of the schools I worked at as a Speech Pathology Assistant was a Title 1 school, which means that the majority of the students came from low-income families. 

I took a class that focused on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and I have experience providing speech therapy to children with multiple intellectual disabilities including ASD. I also worked in an Autism Preschool as well as providing services to special needs students in middle and high school.

I have an uncle who has communication difficulties following a stroke. Thus, I appreciate first-hand the devastating effects of such a scenario on the entire family, including the financial aspects. I understand the nature of the stress that the family is under.  I also volunteer at Yolo Adult Health Day Center working with individuals that have Dementia, Traumatic Brain Injury, or difficulties resulting from a stroke. Working at this center has reminded me of how important it is to look at the whole individual and their full range of emotions: laughs, tears, smiles, and often heartache. My mother-in-law is a survivor of breast and nasopharyngeal cancers as well as two ischemic strokes. I know what it is like to be a family member of someone in the hospital and this will help me in my role as a clinician.  I thank you for considering my application to XXXX University.

For as many people as possible, among those who provide me with adequate information, I carefully review it so as to produce what in my opinion would be a model first paragraph for your statement. The first paragraph is especially critical. Many experts suggest that many applicants are generally accepted or rejected on the basis of the first paragraph alone. I do several of these a day; about half of these applicants decide to become paying customers so that I can finish the statement. Then, they often recommend me to their friends who are also going through the application process. This is how I support myself and my son, laying something aside for his future. Let's get started working on your statement together, as a team!

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SLP African-American Sample, Working with Underprivileged Students

It was always my intention to spend my life making a difference rather than merely ‘making a living’. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is such a basic component of a happy and fulfilling life that enabling others to acquire it clearly does make a significant difference and I am gratified to have skills and knowledge to assist in this end. My goal now is to acquire more advanced skills and knowledge to maximize my usefulness to those who need help in this key facility to realizing their personal potential.

I have pursued my goals to this point with diligence and determination which is demonstrated by the creditable GPA results gained in my Associate and Bachelor degrees and the awards and honors received during my studies.  I am confident that I have the academic capacity to excel in the program and beyond it.

From the experience that I have acquired to date in relating to those who suffer difficulties in communication it is clear to me that it takes a very special type of person to work effectively with them; that empathy, determination and enormous patience, together with substantial technical knowledge and skills are called for in order to achieve clear, challenging but achievable outcomes. I genuinely believe that I possess these personal qualities and characteristics or I would not be making this application. I also believe that these same qualities are demonstrated in effective research which I regard as vital to the pursuit of the ends I seek for minority populations.

My special interest is in the area of minorities especially, but not limited to, African Americans. My long term goal is to become an expert practitioner, to purse useful research and, eventually, to pursue a Ph.D. in SLP and to teach in order to pass on my passion and expertise to new generations of specialists. My special interest was fired during my senior year of undergraduate studies in communicative disorders. The senior project was to prepare a literary analysis on the average number of complex and simple sentences used by the average middle school African American male. By the end of the work, I realized that there is scant information about African American written/conversational language and that much more extensive research is required.

During work towards my senior assignment I discovered a love for research and that its success depends greatly upon the identification of clear goals and their practical applications. I believe that the characteristics called for in an excellent SLP overlap considerably with those called for in an excellent researcher, especially the setting of clear, challenging but achievable goals and pursuing them doggedly.

While volunteering for Scientific Research initially as a Peer Educator and later as Site Leader, I had the opportunity to work with underprivileged students. One significant challenge arose when working in a rural elementary school where the students were of low socio-economic status and African Americans or whose first language was not English. My goal was to help the 3rd graders to pass the Standardized Reading Test. This was a considerable challenge since many of the students could not read and some barely. Because of my aspiration to become an SLP, I was appointed to help those who could not read. I worked alongside two SLP’s whom I shadowed and under whose caring and expert supervision I worked. We had to start from the basics of learning phonemes and both I and the students worked very hard.  Out of 19 students, 9 passed the assessment from my group. I regard this outcome as a considerable accomplishment and learned much during the process. The experience also raised many questions in my mind as to why the problems arise and how they might be reduced and, ultimately, resolved.

Additionally I have sought exposure through a variety of voluntary placements, to gain exposure to people of a wide range of ages, and ethnic and social backgrounds which and it has been a pleasure to engage with them.

To summarize, I am confident that I have the academic potential, basic experience, knowledge and background, personal attributes and, most of all, a genuine passion for this area of study and work to enable me to ‘add value’ to the program, if selected, and to make a significant and positive difference to the lives of many.

SLP Masters Personal Statement of Purpose Sample, Audiology, New York City, Italian-American

I am a young Italian-American woman who has grown up in New York City and I am currently employed by the Education Department of the City of New York. I earned my BA in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology at Brooklyn College and I hope to earn my Master’s Degree in the same field and devote my life to the professional 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 to Italian and working towards fluency in Spanish as well, motivated by the vast numbers of Spanish speakers in NYC and subsequently the great value of this language. I am making rapid progress because my boyfriend is Puerto Rican and my sister is married to a man from the Dominican Republic and the four of us spend a lot of time together with more and more Spanish being spoken. I know some Spanish from living in New York. My boyfriend is Puerto Rican and my sister’s husband married is from the Dominican Republic.

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. Predominately Hispanic, my students range all 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 get to witness these services being provided first hand. Among the professionals with whom I interact, it is the SLP professional that strikes me as making the singular most important 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, helping them to communicate effectively given their resources and limitations.  I also look forward to educating parents of children with communication issues, so as to harness their full support in the most effective ways possible.

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 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 began to notice 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 5 and did not begin reading until she was in the third grade. Now, Jessica is 17, 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’s Degree as well. 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. Probably, I have learned many things from Jessica’s struggle that will be of great 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.

I thank you for considering my application.

Graduate School Diversity Writing Service by Dr. Robert Edinger

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