Melissa Belack 1st Year Trainee - Speech Language Pathology



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Melissa Belack is a 2nd year student in the Masters of Speech-Language Pathology program at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a 2015 graduate from Pennsylvania State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a Minor in Special Education. From an early age, Melissa had interest in working with children with disabilities. While attending Penn State, she volunteered with several organizations serving individuals with multiple disabilities. Her most memorable experience was working with the Centre County Down Syndrome Society’s For Good Performance Troupe, a performance troupe that allows individuals with Down syndrome the opportunity to participate in musical theater and performance activities. Melissa volunteered throughout her time at Penn State to help the performers learn songs and dances while celebrating their individual successes.

 

Melissa additionally worked as a teacher’s aide at The Watson Institute for two years during the Extended School Year program, in a classroom for children with multiple disabilities. She helped create and implement lesson plans, executed behavioral management strategies, and monitored student progress on IEP goals. Upon graduation from Penn State, Melissa worked at the Child Development and Family Council, a before and after school program for students in the State College area. CDFC gave her the skills and understanding to work closely with parents to ensure the needs of the entire family were met. These experiences continue to shape Melissa’s passion for working closely with children and their families.

 

As a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology, Melissa enjoys the opportunities to work with a variety of children and adults with special needs and their families to promote communication for all individuals. She wants to ensure that every person has a voice. Melissa is excited to be a 2017-2018 LEND trainee, and hopes to further develop her skills to become a leader in her field to advocate for children with disabilities and their families in her future career.