People ask me if I always wanted to be a speech therapist. I used to say no. Then I remembered that when I was ten years old, both my younger brothers were sent to speech therapy to work on their /s/-sound. I was disappointed that I was not allowed to go, because I thought working on speech sounded like a lot of fun. Not to be left out of this fun activity, I appointed myself their home practice coach, and would review their word lists with them (when they would tolerate it).
I've always loved language and human communication. I studied linguistics at the University of Toronto, with a special focus in English sociolinguistics. I completed my graduate clinical training in speech-language pathology at Northwestern University. I spent my early clinical years working in schools, private practice, and in the medical setting.
Since founding speech IRL, I've transitioned from clinician to business owner to serial social entrepreneur. I founded the City of Chicago chapter of the National Stuttering Association (NSA), and have served on the Board of Directors. I'm a founding Board Member of Shared Voices Chicago, a non-profit startup dedicated to creating programs and resources for people who stutter in Chicagoland. I love teaching, and currently serve as adjunct faculty at Rush University and St. Xavier University, as a graduate course instructor for stuttering and fluency disorders. I also travel regularly to present at conferences on my favorite topics of stuttering, therapy philosophy, and business practice issues.
My primary role at speech IRL is managing our social good partnerships with other organizations and evolving our enterprise practice. I maintain a very small personal caseload. Everything that happens at speech IRL is thanks to what we've learned from the people who walk through our doors. Keeping the personal connection to individual real-world stories is the foundation of all my other work and the best part of my day.
When I'm not working, you can find me practicing yoga, reading regular books and Marvel comics, having philosophical conversations about communication over drinks, and trying to decide what my next hair color will be.
At speech IRL, we aren't afraid to go outside the box or try something new, if it means achieving what matters the most to you. We define success based on your definition of success.