Meet Amanda Tellez


MEET AMANDA TELLEZ

AMANDA TELLEZ IS A PROUD LATINA AND AN ACTIVE SOUL WHO LOVES PHOTOGRAPHY, TRAVELING, STAYING ACTIVE, AND CHERISHES SPENDING TIME WITH HER LOVED ONES. A GRADUATE OF CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY, AMANDA NOW WORKS AS A SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST FOR LAUSD. A PASSIONATE SLP, AMANDA SHARES WITH US WHY SHE WAS INSPIRED TO PURSUE THIS CAREER AND HOW HER INTENSE “HUSTLE” MENTALITY HAS CHANGED FOR THE BETTER OVERTIME.

WHAT DO YOU FOR A LIVING? IS IT WHAT YOU THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE DOING 5-10 YEARS AGO?

I AM A SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST (SLP) AND I WORK WITH SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN. I PROVIDE THERAPY TO CHILDREN AGES 3 TO 12 YEARS OLD WITH A RANGE OF DISORDER (SPEECH SOUND DISORDERS, AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD), DOWN SYNDROME, INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY, STUTTERING, AND SO MUCH MORE). I BEGAN PURSUING THIS CAREER 5 YEARS AGO AND I REALLY DIDN'T KNOW IF I WOULD GET ACCEPTED INTO GRAD SCHOOL BECAUSE THE FIELD IS SO COMPETITIVE AND IMPACTED. IF YOU TOLD MY PAST SELF THAT I MADE IT, I WOULD PROBABLY PASS OUT IN DISBELIEF.

WHAT EVENT OR MOMENT OCCURRED THAT LED YOU TOWARD YOUR PASSION?

I INITIALLY PURSUED A BACHELOR'S IN HEALTH SCIENCE AND I ASPIRED TO BECOME A HEALTH TEACHER OR WORK IN PUBLIC HEALTH. DURING MY BACHELOR'S MY UNCLE GOT DIAGNOSED WITH PRIMARY PROGRESSIVE APHASIA (PPA) AND EARLY ONSET ALZHEIMER'S. SEEING HIS COGNITION AND SPEECH DECLINE SO RAPIDLY INSPIRED ME TO PURSUE A CAREER IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY. I STARTED OBSERVING DIFFERENT SLPS IN DIFFERENT SETTINGS (SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS, SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES) AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE FIELD. 

WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE TO YOU? IS YOUR IDEA OF SUCCESS DIFFERENT FROM A PREVIOUS VERSION?

MY IDEA OF SUCCESS HAS CHANGED DRAMATICALLY THROUGHOUT THE YEARS. WHEN I FIRST BEGAN PURSUING MY POST-BACCALAUREATE DEGREE IN COMMUNICATION SCIENCES DISORDERS, I THOUGHT SUCCESS MEANT YOU NEEDED TO HUSTLE, HUSTLE, HUSTLE. I WORKED PART TIME AS A SERVER, WENT TO SCHOOL FULL TIME, AND WAS STUDYING NON-STOP TO MAINTAIN STRAIGHT A'S. I LIVED AND BREATHED SCHOOL AND WORK. AT THAT TIME, I THOUGHT THAT WAS SUCCESS, WORKING 24/7. I WAS DROPPING EVERYTHING THAT WASN'T WORK OR SCHOOL RELATED, CANCELLING PLANS WITH FRIENDS, IGNORING MY MENTAL/PHYSICAL HEALTH TO FOCUS ON ACADEMICS AND MAKING MONEY. WHEN I GOT INTO GRAD SCHOOL, I REALIZED THAT MENTALITY HELPED ME GOT TO THAT POINT BUT I NO LONGER NEEDED TO WORK MYSELF SO HARD TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL/MAINTAIN SUCCESS. I LEARNED TO BALANCE SOCIAL LIFE, SCHOOL, AND WORK. I REALIZED THAT YOU DO NOT NEED TO CONSTANTLY HUSTLE TO BE SUCCESSFUL. IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO REST/RECHARGE AND INDULGE IN SELF-CARE. SO NOW, MY IDEA OF SUCCESS IS WORK HARD BUT ALSO TREAT YOURSELF FROM TIME TO TIME. I ALSO THINK IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO GIVE TIME TO YOUR LOVED ONES, BECAUSE YOU NEED THEM IN YOUR LIVES. WITHOUT MY FAMILY, AMAZING BOY FRIEND, AND INCREDIBLE FRIENDS, I COULD NEVER HAVE GOTTEN TO WHERE I AM NOW. 

DO YOU HAVE ANY FAILURES, WHICH IN RETROSPECT, LED YOU IN A BETTER DIRECTION?

WHEN I WAS WAITING TO HEAR BACK FROM DIFFERENT GRADUATE SCHOOLS, I WAS WAITLISTED FOR CSULA, WHICH AT THE TIME I THOUGHT WAS ONE OF THE WORST THINGS THAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ME. IT IS A GREAT PROGRAM AND EXTREMELY AFFORDABLE. I HAVE NEVER FELT SO LOW IN MY LIFE. NOW THAT I AM DONE WITH GRADUATE SCHOOL, I REALIZE IT WAS TRULY A BLESSING IN DISGUISE. I GOT ACCEPTED TO CHAPMAN AND WAS GIVEN A SCHOLARSHIP WHICH HELPED EASE THE FINANCIAL BURDEN. THOUGH THE SCHOOL IS VERY EXPENSIVE, I WAS ABLE TO GET SO MANY VALUABLE EXPERIENCES THROUGH THE RESOURCES THEY PROVIDE AND THE PEOPLE I MET. I MET THE MOST AMAZING PEOPLE IN MY COHORT WHO BECAME BEST FRIENDS. WE CREATED SUCH A STRONG BOND AND THEY TAUGHT ME HOW TO CHILL THE HELL OUT AND ENJOY LIFE, AND FOR THAT, I AM ETERNALLY GRATEFUL.

WHAT IS A QUOTE YOU LIVE BY?

"I DREAM IT, I WORK HARD, I GRIND TILL I OWN IT."-BEYONCE

IF YOU COULD GIVE ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

CHILL OUT!!!!!!! I WAS SO STRESSED OUT WHEN I WAS YOUNGER AND WORRIED ABOUT SO MANY THINGS THAT WERE OUT OF MY CONTROL. I LOST SO MUCH SLEEP WORRYING ABOUT THE NEXT DAY. I REALLY WOULD JUST TELL HER "GIRL, CALM DOWN, WORK HARD AND IT WILL ALL FALL INTO PLACE. WORRYING ONLY MAKES IT WORSE. TRUST ME GIRL."