Congratulations to Kathy Willis, the first-ever recipient of the Shining Star award from the Hearing, Speech and Deaf Center of Greater Cincinnati! This award recognizes a client who is dedicated and working hard to meet their goals in speech therapy.
Willis has had lifelong communication challenges but has been thriving and making great strides since receiving hearing aids and starting speech therapy. She was asked to speak at the May 16 gala because her achievements made an impression on the staff, and she wanted to encourage others to work hard to meet their goals.
Staff at the Hearing, Speech and Deaf Center kept the award secret until the gala, and Willis “felt very surprised and very happy” when she received it. “I would tell others, don’t give up – you can do it,” she said.
Willis loves learning new speech skills and practices every day, said Jeanine Caudill, an independent provider who works with her.
“It’s pretty hard to see Kathy in action practicing her speech and not be inspired myself,” Caudill said. “Communication is vital for having a full life and Kathy seems to know this intuitively. Her hard work and determination to communicate more fully has given her much joy and has had a positive impact on everyone around her.”