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National Stuttering Association

Kylie PellAssociate Teacher

    Kylie Pell

    Morgantown, WV
    Associate Teacher
    Bright Horizons

    Briefly describe your daily job duties.
    At my job with Bright Horizons, I work with a variety of different ages from infant to preschool age. My daily tasks include keeping a safe classroom, building relationships with families, transition tracking, conflict resolution with little ones, changing diapers, preparing meals, and more.

    As a person who stutters, share the most challenging part of your job.
    The most challenging part of my job is probably how my stutter affects my ability to communicate quickly at such a fast-paced job. The children and staff are incredibly understanding regarding my disfluencies though, and I’ve begun to learn that children are some of the most understanding and tolerant people in reference to differences.

    What are your long-term career aspirations?
    I am currently a junior at West Virginia University for Speech and Language pathology. I intend to pursue a masters in speech pathology so that I can be a clinician for children like me who have language difficulties.

    Did you self-disclose your stuttering during the job hiring process?
    I chose to disclose my stutter because it has become something over the years that I own. Disclosure of my stutter allows a weight to be taken off my shoulders; it allows me to stutter freely without being embarrassed. I find that people also really appreciate the transparency in the professional world.

    What is your proudest moment at your current company?
    My proudest moments at my job have been all of the times when I make valuable connections with children and their families. It is so beautiful to feel like such a big part of a child’s early learning. It warms my heart when I get big hugs when the children’s parents arrive to pick them up.

    Describe how stuttering makes you a better, more valued contributor at work.
    I believe my stutter makes me way more sensitive to differences among my coworkers and families I work with. As someone who felt different for a long time, I make the point to treat everyone the same while recognizing and appreciating unique aspects.

    What’s your best advice for people who stutter just entering the workplace and for those in a career striving to achieve greater success?
    Stuttering does not make you incapable of having a professional career. It actually makes you more well equipped because we have had to develop perseverance due to our speech impediment. My biggest piece of advice would be to own your stutter and use it to your advantage. You are a more valuable worker due to your unique qualities.