Abilene Christian’s Shay Johnson Changes Lives One Word at a Time

first_imgFRISCO, Texas – Many student-athletes receive attention for the work that goes into honing their craft, or attention from fans or attention in the classroom. But there is another aspect of attention that can easily go unnoticed to the outside world. With so many matters pining for the consideration of a student-athlete, it is often difficult to add in a service to the outside world. Through team-initiated events or personal ones, these collegiate athletes have shown time and time again that they are willing to represent their institutions by serving others and continue do so with a smile on their faces.Shay Johnson of the Abilene Christian women’s soccer team is the latest example of a Southland Conference student-athlete taking time to provide attention to those in need. Johnson recently spent an entire month of her summer vacation traveling to Kampala, Uganda, for a mission trip with Hope Speaks.Hope Speaks is a nonprofit organization based in Uganda that seeks to provide speech therapy, education and advocacy to children with disabilities. While a major aim of the organization is to seek out and assist children and families that live in poverty, their reach is not limited to any one specific socioeconomic group in Uganda.Shay initially heard about the Hope Speaks organization after the group made a visit to the Abilene Christian campus during her freshman year. However, her schedule at the time did not permit her to meet with the group about their internship program. But, with a seed planted in her mind, Johnson took it upon herself to get in touch with the organization in order get her foot in the door.After joining a pool of 250 applicants, Johnson was selected in February to be a part of the Hope Speaks team. Upon arriving in Uganda, the junior joined a group of seven other interns from around the United States to begin working with local children in need of speech assistance.As the only undergraduate pupil in her Hope Speaks group, Johnson was initially unsure of how much practical experience she would be allowed with the clients enlisted in the program. However, after two intensive days of training coupled with the collective knowledge gained in her time at Abilene Christian, she was given the opportunity to create speech assessments and therapy plans for her very own clients.Upon their arrival, Shay and her group members faced a language barrier with the native families that they were serving. Lugandan stands as the inherent language for the Kampalan people. However, the local children are also taught English by the teachers at their respective schools. With that being said, a large portion of the clients who sought out the help of Johnson and her co-workers were often impaired past the point of spoken language. Fortunately for Shay and her group members, there were always translators present for each therapy session in order to properly communicate with family members while also assisting in the instruction of activities for the clients.Abilene Christian speech language pathology majors are required to log a minimum 30 hours of practical application in the undergraduate program. In just one month, Johnson was able to breeze through the program-mandated application time, working five or more hours per day on a Monday through Friday schedule. Although her weekdays were packed with creating therapy sessions and assessments, her weekends were not simply limited to leisure activities. Johnson immersed herself in the local culture on her off days while still meeting with select lower-income families.After a month packed with fulfilling moments, the speech pathology major returned home with a revitalized enthusiasm for her program and her future as a speech and language professional. “I knew I wanted to be a speech pathologist, but I was kind of wavering in how I wanted to do that or even if I wanted to do that,” said Johnson. “So, going out there and spending that month in Uganda really solidified that this is the career that I want to do for the rest of my life.”Johnson and the Wildcats are back in action Friday afternoon at the Southland Conference Tournament in Beaumont, Texas. ACU is the tournament’s No. 5-seed and will square off against the No. 1 Central Arkansas in the first of two SLC semifinal matches. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. Following shortly after, No. 7 Stephen F. Austin will take on tournament host No. 3 Lamar in a 7 p.m. kickoff. The semifinal rounds can be viewed on the Southland Digital Network.last_img read more

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My ‘captain, team-mate and friend’: Barcelona star reduced to tears on eve of final farwell

first_img 5 The occasion appeared to get the better of the 35-year-old – The midfielder has agreed to join Qatari club Al-Sadd on a three-year deal. 5 Iniesta was clearly pulling at the heartstrings – click right to see the next image from the emotional event – Xavi’s 17 club titles, excluding Spanish and European Super Cups, make him the most decorated player in Barcelona’s history. Iniesta presented his team-mate with a commemorative shirt – continue to see the next image from the emotional event – Xavi won three major international competitions with Spain in a period of complete dominance between 2008 and 2012. 5 Xavi and Iniesta embrace – click right to see the next image from the emotional event – The two midfield maestros have been held accountable for so much of Barcelona’s success over the last decade. 5 5 The culmination to the 2014/2015 season has seen its fair share of departing club legends.While Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand say goodbye to the Premier League, iconic Barcelona captain Xavi Hernandez announced he would be leaving the La Liga champions for new shores in QatarThe midfielder capped his final home appearance with Copa del Rey glory on Saturday and, ahead of his final game for the Catalans in the Champions League final this weekend, he was reduced to tears by compatriot Andres Iniesta in a farewell event.Iniesta, who has assumed the captain’s armband soon to be vacated by Xavi for the majority of the season, paid tribute to the most decorated player in Barcelona’s history, labelling the former Spain international his ‘captain, team-mate and friend.’Click right on the images above to see a selection of photos from the emotional event. Xavi can’t hold back his emotions – continue to see the next image from the emotional event – Between them, the Spanish internationals have represented the Catalans nearly 850 times in La Liga. last_img read more

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Vector control strives to contain infected mosquitoes

first_imgMuch of what her agency advises residents about protecting themselves against West Nile can be summed up in what Heintz called “the four Ds”: Dusk to dawn, which is when mosquitoes come out to feed. Dump and drain any standing pools of water. Defend yourself by apply insect repellent with the chemical DEET and wearing long-sleeved shirts after dusk. At the Girl Scout Camp Northside in San Dimas this week, Bob Kennedy, a technician for the San Gabriel Valley Vector Control District in West Covina, treated ponds with larvae-killing chemicals. “This area is not infested, but it needs to be kept an eye on,” he said. “With the warming weather, mosquitoes get more prevalent.” Heintz said vector control offices provide a number of mosquito-abatement services that are free to residents. “We can inspect private property like swimming pools, fish ponds, hot tubs and any other location where standing water can collect and breed mosquitoes,” she said. “We do it all for free, including treatment of any area where mosquitoes, eggs or larvae are found.” Residents also can get free mosquito fish, which feed on the larvae, from the vector control offices in Santa Fe Springs and West Covina. For more information, call the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562)944-9656, or visit the agency’s Web site: www.glacvcd.org. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2With the discovery this week of West Nile-positive mosquitoes, the season for the virus has officially begun. That, along with warming temperatures and more people outdoors this holiday weekend, means it’s time to once again take precautions, vector control and health officials said. “Memorial Day is the first weekend people are outside,” said Mark Hall, a supervisor at the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District in Santa Fe Springs. “They’re more prone to mosquito attacks.” The discovery of mosquitoes carrying the virus came much earlier this year than last year, when positive mosquitoes were not found until July, officials said. That means everything you might have learned last year about protecting yourself against West Nile could be put to the test this weekend. “People need to be vigilant and protect themselves because mosquito season is worse in June and July,” said Stephanie Heintz, spokeswoman for the vector control office in Santa Fe Springs. • Photo Gallery: 05/26: West Nile prevention Wearing plastic goggles and rubber gloves, vector control specialist Tina Smith dropped a few chemical briquettes that stunt the growth of mosquitoes into a green backyard swimming pool in Downey. She stared into the murky water teeming with swimming mosquito pupae. “This chemical floods mosquitoes with an overdose of their own hormones,” she said as thousands of pupae floated on the surface. “They can’t develop into adults.” last_img read more

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