National Stuttering Association

Charles White, IIISecret Service

    Charles White, III

    Washington D.C.
    Secret Service

    Briefly describe your daily job duties.
    I’m responsible for access control and interior/exterior protection of the White House. I help ensure everyone that walks on the White House complex is authorized from administration staff to visitors for appointments to tourists.

    As a person who stutters, share the most challenging part of your job.
    Finding the internal resolve and courage to open my mouth every day and speak to people at work and exercising my constitutional authority with my speech every day.

    Did you self-disclose your stuttering during the job hiring process? If so, how did you do it and how do you currently disclose your stuttering to unsuspecting co-workers, clients and or customers?
    Yes, I self-disclosed during the application process. I verbally told the polygraph technicians that I stutter. (Polygraph? Remember, I work for the Secret Service.) I also disclose my stutter to co-workers, White House staff, and sometimes to tourists.

    Describe how stuttering makes you a better, more valued contributor at work.
    I have a different sense of compassion, patience, and understanding than all my non-stuttering co-workers. I find myself not in a rush to get information from people. I let people take their time to speak their truth because what they have to say matters.

    What is your proudest moment at your current company?
    Taking my Mom as my guest to the Secret Service holiday party in 2013 and introducing her to President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

    What are your long-term career aspirations?
    I plan on retiring from the Secret Service before I turn 50 years old. By doing so, I’ll be able to pursue my passions and dreams to serve other people full-time.

    What’s your best advice for people who stutter just entering the workplace and for those in a career striving to achieve greater success?
    Believe in yourself. Believe in your potential. Speak your truth. You have the Americans with Disabilities Act on your side and people need to hear your story. What you want to say from your heart matters, and it can positively impact other people.