2017 Scholarship Recipient, Reinfred Addo
The Voice Aerobics® graduate student scholarship is awarded annually to a student who demonstrates character traits and intention to make a positive contribution to the field of Speech-Language Pathology. The 2017 recipient is Reinfred Addo, a first year graduate student and graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Radford University, Radford Virginia.
This year, 2017, special consideration was given to applicants with a goal of serving immigrant populations, or who came to the United States as a young immigrant. Research tells us that many immigrant families and their children face multiple risk factors such as poverty, poor schools, discrimination, and disparities in access to health care. However, they also bring with them positive characteristics such as religion, community, optimism and a high value of education. Many children of immigrants have shown to be extremely resilient despite risk and adversity.
"If you're climbing a good tree, someone will give your bottom a push."
Proverb from Ghana
Reinfeld Addo, this year's scholarship recipient, emigrated from Ghana at the age of 12 and stated in his application, "I chose speech-language pathology because it's where my love of rich communication meets my Ghana-nurtured commitment to goodwill."
The proverb, he explained, serves as a metaphor for the work speech-language pathologist do in helping others. He wrote: "The proverb means that one benefits from others' goodwill on one's road to betterment. This proverb flows through every speech-language pathologist, because, when an individual is on their way to climbing the tree of overcoming a communication disorder, an SLP gives their proverbial bottom a push. This push is important, as striving for rich communication adds to one's quality of life."
Reinfeld also shared that music is important in his life, recognizing, as many of us do that, "music transcends all language and cultural barriers while enhancing language and spoken communication."
The Voice Aerobics® student scholarship award was begun as a way of giving back to the profession that I love, to support clinicians who represent the future of the field, and as a way of affirming the continued success of my own business.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit an application. Acceptance of applications for next year will begin March 1, 2018, with a deadline of April 30, 2018.
Mary Spremulli, MA, CCC-SLP, Owner, Voice Aerobics, LLC