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Meet Calonda Henry of Broad Horizons Speech Therapy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Calonda Henry.

Hi Calonda, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
By trade, I am a licensed speech language pathologist and private practice owner who has been practicing in the field for approximately 10 years. How did this amazing journey all start? Well, I began college for my undergraduate studies in the fall of 2008 at the University of Central Florida. Originally my plan was to study to become a pediatrician, because I’ve always loved healthcare and working with children. While finishing up my freshman year, I took a personality quiz that deemed Speech-Language Pathology as a top career choice for me.

Quickly, I became instilled with passion and drive to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. After graduating in 2011, I returned to my hometown in Jacksonville, Florida and this is where my career started at the age of 21. I began working as a bachelor’s level speech therapy clinician for the same school district I graduated high school from. In 2013, I began my Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology and worked full time until my graduation in the fall of 2016. My career ventured into a new setting for my clinical fellowship placement, and this is where I began to solidify my dream of one day owning my own private practice. I worked diligently and consistently until I was able to begin my part-time private speech therapy practice in May of 2019.

Fast forward to a global pandemic in 2020 and the final push to go all-in towards my lifetime goal. What was once a dream, soon became a full-service speech and language therapy practice operating across the greater Jacksonville area as well as Florida. Since then, I have scaled my private practice through partnerships, collaborations, and connections while pursuing full-time entrepreneurship. In addition to running a private practice, I am a wife and mother which are two very important roles that I give my all to daily.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One of the biggest obstacles I encountered was the passing of my father during my graduate school studies. My father played an instrumental role in all that I am today. He was one of my biggest supporters and losing him was by far one of the most difficult things I’ve had to face along this journey.

Many people don’t know this, but I had to push myself to finish my master’s degree and regain my passion again. After graduation, I began to immerse myself into the field of speech-language pathology and quickly experienced hardships and shortcomings as a minority speech-language pathologist. Only 3.6% of Speech-Language Pathologists identify as African American and operating in spaces where you constantly have to recite your title or explain your qualifications became a challenge. I often felt myself falling into the trap of feeling less competent and dwelling into imposter-syndrome just because no one in the room looked like me.

I began to turn my obstacles into triumphs by emphasizing the importance of diversity and speaking out on topics to create awareness within the field of speech-language pathology. It is very important for me to share my story of victories with others who may be experiencing similar hardships as a way to demonstrate that resilience is the key to overcoming any obstacle set forth to block you from the greater good. No matter your age, what you look like, or where you come from you have the ability to write your own story how you choose. I have been able to mentor many students and professionals about healthcare disparities, educational inequities, and decreased understanding regarding dialect as it relates to African American English.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Broad Horizons Speech Therapy?
Broad Horizons is a leading provider of speech and language therapy services in Jacksonville, Florida to families and school communities. We provide the highest quality of services by licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologists. In addition, we create the ultimate learning environment for each session.

At Broad Horizons we believe strongly in a family-centered approach. That is why we provide direct feedback, encouragement, and strategies to caregivers in every session. In addition, we partner with local schools to provide speech and language therapy support for students to reach their ultimate potential in their academic settings. We are dedicated to serving children and families from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds throughout the city of Jacksonville.

The goal of Broad Horizons Speech Therapy is to promote cultural responsiveness and decrease healthcare disparities while educating families on speech and language development. Broad Horizons Speech Therapy is recognized as a Woman and Minority-Owned Business in the state of Florida.

With over 9+ years of clinical expertise, Broad Horizons’ team is skilled in private practice and educational services. This means our team is very knowledgeable about providing IEP consultations, supplemental services, in addition to private medically-based services. We want parents and families to be equipped to know that “Communication is the Destination”. We accomplish this by strong home programming methods and bringing forth information that may not always be known across all communities, especially those of low socioeconomic status.

What are your plans for the future?
Broad Horizons has big plans for expansion and growth in the future. This will be met through the growth of office space, adding more staff as well as other disciplines, and creating more resources for clients and their families to access on demand. In other exciting news for the year 2022, we have added Occupational Therapy to our school contracting services.

We plan to continue to partner with schools, programs, facilities, and institutions of higher learning to continue to reach a multitude of clients in need of speech and language therapy services as well as students studying to become practicing clinicians. Jacksonville continues to grow with new educational campuses and will continue to grow in surrounding cities in the years to come. We are striving to leave our long-lasting mark for many years with the unmatched services we provide to students, professionals, and families.

As a professional, I continue to commit to lifelong learning in a professional sense as well as in a business sense. I hope to continue to collaborate with professionals and local entrepreneurs with like minds. I leave you with a quote that I reflect on daily, “Ceiling is only a limitation, if you allow it to be.” My plans personally are to always be better tomorrow than I am today. Here’s to an amazing year ahead in 2022 and following years for myself and Broad Horizons Speech Therapy!

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Image Credits
Kimberly Maxine Beauty & Photography

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