February’s New Grad of The Month: Kristen Johnson
Kristen Johnson is February’s New Grad of The Month! Kristen is a clinical fellow on a school assignment in Centralia, WA. Kristen is an SLP, traveler, and person who just goes above and beyond in everything she does. She, her husband, and their two dogs have fully embraced traveler life, moving all the way from Arkansas to Washington for her first contract. While schools weren’t her first choice, she has jumped in with both feet and has been doing an incredible job with her students.
“Seriously, Kristen has the most amazing attitude of anyone and has truly embraced travel life!”- Advanced Mentor, Melissa Jones, MS, CCC-SLP
Get To Know Kristen
What drew you to SLP? I knew growing up that I wanted a job that would allow me to help others. Communication is one of our most fundamental needs. If you take away an individual’s ability to communicate, you take away so much of what they have to offer. With speech pathology, we have the opportunity to help others find that voice and express themselves with pride.
Why did you decide on travel therapy as a CF? I have always been a homebody. I went to college in my hometown and only went an hour away for graduate school. I heard about travel therapy and it just felt like my opportunity to be spontaneous! My husband is so supportive and loves traveling, so he was on board from day one. It was definitely a scary decision, but has been such an incredible adventure for us!
What is one thing you hope to accomplish as a traveling CF? Growing up one of my role models told me to make sure I “left every place I go better than I found it.” That stuck with me. With travel therapy, you have a more limited timeframe to make a positive impact. My goal is to show each person I meet that they are important and that their success is just as important to me as it is to them.
What has the biggest surprise been so far? I think the biggest surprise for me so far has been adjusting to working on my own. While I have an incredible supervisor, Melissa Jones, who is always available to help, I do have to problem-solve and make decisions on my own. I’ve loved it, but it has been an adjustment!
What is the #1 place you want to travel? My husband and I have tried to answer this question so many times! Our family is very spread out, so we like the idea of spending a little bit of time near everyone. If we had to choose just one place, we would probably say Hawaii. I’m a total beach person!
What’s a fun fact about your travels? I have a huge dent on the back bumper of my car from getting head-butted by a bison while driving through a game farm in Sequim, WA… definitely not something that happens every day!
Love Kristen’s story? Check out her travel blog to find out more!