Yesenia Santiago-Jimenez, a graduate student studying communication disorders at PennWest University, has been selected as a student representative on the executive board of the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

PSHA chooses one student representative from statewide schools each year.

A first-generation Mexican immigrant from the state of California, Santiago-Jiminez aspires “to be a representative for students of color, as they tend to be under-represented in this field. I want to be an advocate for them.”

She is in her second year at PennWest California and is completing an externship at The Children’s Institute Norwin.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Yesenia over the past year and a half, and in that time she has proven herself to be both an excellent student academically as well in the clinical setting,” said Dr. April Wright, assistant professor and clinical director.

“Yesenia is actively involved in peer mentorship with her cohort and is a support to new graduate students. She has used her bilingualism to assist her in therapy sessions with those diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, getting them excited about learning a new language and tying it masterfully to the objectives of therapy.

“The clients that worked with Yesi would describe her as ‘one of the best’ and ‘the first person to really help me.’

“I couldn't be prouder of her initiative, and growth as a young professional, and I know she will be an excellent speech-language pathologist.”