Speech Pathologist Follows a Winding Path to Helping Others

Austin Haugland, Staff Writer

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It might be hard to believe that a natural introvert would want a career in communication with a specialty of working with kids, yet that has been Katherine Dempsey’s dream since she found her career interest at a very young age.

 

Dempsey, speech pathologist at Clairemont High School ,is also the club advisor of Circle Of Friends, a group whose purpose is to, “provide a inclusive environment for teens with developmental disabilities and focuses on creating a culture of acceptance and understanding.” Her job is the perfect setting for her to pursue her passion of being near  and helping students. Her giving and caring personality has also been a plus in per chosen profession. 

 

 She says she actually made the decision to pursue  her career as a senior in high school. “I decided to be a speech pathologist when I was 18 years-old and a family member recommended I explore the option in getting a degree in communications.” At the time, Dempsey was tutoring students and found that she enjoyed helping  others. 

 

“I was born in Arizona and I moved to San Diego when I was 23, so I’ve been here for six years,” stated Dempsey.

 

Inspired by Dempsey, Alexandria Middleton, a senior at CHS, is looking forward to becoming a speech pathologist. “I know I want to work in a public school, mostly with high schoolers,” said Middleton.  “I also know I want to work with kids in some realm,”  Middleton observed.  Dempsey’s influence and inspiration were gained from  Circle of Friends, which Middleton has been a part of  since her freshman year.

 

She advises others that it isn’t  easy to become a speech pathologist.   Dempsey says, “I was required to maintain a 4.0, and I had to keep up in my undergrad classes.”  She also realizes she does not have complete control over her career.   “I was at Pershing Middle school three days a week, and Clairemont for two days a week, and now I’m at Clairemont full time,” said Dempsey. This  demonstrates that life isn’t always a straight path without changes along the way.  Dempsey insists that adapting to change and the curves and twists along one’s path is part of the process of being a professional. 

As the old adage goes, “It’s the journey, not the destination.”

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