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Over-achiever sets her sites on Speech Pathology

Madeline Blue
Freshman, Eastern Illinois University
Communication Disorders and Sciences

Guidance counselors, teachers, coaches and others all agree: Madeline Blue is an over-achiever.

In between soccer, swimming, choir, tutoring, church activities, student council, National Honors Society, and volunteering with the St. James Food Pantry and Tostan, the determined Danville native found inspiration in her grandmother and turned tragedy into opportunity.

In 2010, her grandmother suffered a stroke that left her unable to speak. Her caring family surrounded her with care, including executing exercises to teach her to speak again. On Madeline’s assigned days, she would sit with her grandmother and help re-teach her to talk.

Today Madeline’s grandmother lives at home again independently and while she still confuses some words, her progress inspired Madeline to become a Speech Pathologist.

Today, she’s a freshman at Eastern Illinois University pursuing a Communication Disorders and Sciences degree – one of the hardest majors the campus offers. Her rigorous workload involves courses in human physiology, phonetics and phonological development, anatomy and physiology of speech, language, swallowing, and hearing mechanisms, and others.

In addition to these studies, Madeline is also pursuing a Spanish minor. He desire is to marry her Speech Pathology career with helping native Spanish-speakers learn English, improve their lives, and excel in their careers.

After four years at Eastern, she’ll move on to a two-year Master’s program at another university where she’ll undertake rotating internships in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and clinics to help her hone her final career placement decision. After being guided by a preceptor for her first year after graduation, she’ll become a Speech Pathologist. Her hope is to either work in the children’s ward of a hospital, or in a school working with kids.

“The scholarship from the Christie Foundation is really motivating – for me to do a good job in school, but also to come back and help and to give back,” Madeline says. “They are good people who really care.”