Emily Holmstedt ’14, ’15 was the recipient of the Florence Scott van Gilder “Tolley” Endowed Award. She received this scholarship because of her academic and clinical excellence. This award will support her future plans to continue onto graduate school in the speech-language pathology field.
Holmstedt grew up in a small city in the East Bay called Alamo. Her mother was an alumna of Pacific so there is no question as to why she chose Pacific. Pacific offered Holmstedt exactly what she was looking for in a university: small class sizes, good relationships between professors and students, and a school close to home. Holmstedt’s interest in speech therapy began in her senior year of high school which prompted her to look into Pacific’s speech-language pathology program.
The love and passion for helping and working with others has always been a part of who she is. She has worked with the preschool Sunday school program at her church where she gained experience with working with many families. In high school she started to find her niche working with special needs students. She found herself coaching Special Olympics and became a teacher assistant for a special day class. Through these experiences she grew a love for helping students “find their individual ways to communicate and realized communication was such a multifaceted ability.”
Holmstedt shares her gratefulness and appreciation for the scholarship. “After receiving the award, I continue to challenge myself even more to study and acquire the best knowledge and experience possible as a future SLP because people who don’t know me are willing to invest in my higher education. I want to show them that their money is appreciated by doing the best that I can with the opportunities presented to me. It is motivating to have scholarships for students because it pushes them to be the best they can be and helps the student confirm that he or she is doing something right.
She has already put her undergraduate knowledge to good use when she helped create a community group called the Pacific Clinic called Pacific Aphasia Conversation Team (PACT). “PACT creates an opportunity for adults who have experienced communication difficulties resulting from a stroke to socialize with people who have gone through similar tragedies. It is a unique and wonderful experience for these adults to not feel like the one outcast in a peer group, but to be able to empathize and truly understand each other’s struggles. As a group facilitator, I have been able to witness the good that this type of social outlet brings to an individual.”
“I would love to start a group for TBI (traumatic brain injury) clients to meet and socialize with people who have gone through similar situations. I would also like to possibly lead a Bible Study to find a group of similar background and to be able to socially connect. I strongly value collective communication and have seen the positive impact made in the lives of those who are able to find a group of their similar abilities and to socially connect. I would like to develop more of these social outlets for people with communication disabilities.”
For Holmstedt education is more than just about passing a course. All that she has learned from her professors and peers prepares her for a career after graduation. “As I got into more challenging SLP courses, I always reminded myself that I needed to know all the material not just for a moment so that I could receive a passing grade and my professor and parents would be happy, but I needed to know the material because knowing that material could make an impact on someone’s life in the future.”
By Sodar Soth '15