Passionate about giving back to those in my community

Bethany Sexton
Speech Language Hearing Science
Purdue University

Bethany Sexton sees two things in her future: regular mission trips to bring speech-language therapy to those in need around the world, and building long-term caring relationships through her speech therapy profession to those needing her help.

The Danville native is a sophomore at Purdue University. Quite sure that she wanted to pursue a career in health care, it wasn’t until a job shadowing experience pointed her to speech-language hearing science.

“I really want a profession where I can build longer-term relationships with my patients – to work with them over time and get to them and really help them through my work,” she says. “Getting to know people – their stories and their histories – is really important to me.”

"I am passionate about giving back to those in my community," says Bethany about her career choice.

This passion extends beyond her choice of occupation: Bethany regularly volunteers at a nearby homeless shelter, serving food, cleaning dishes, and cooking.

“I enjoy volunteering at the shelter,” she says. “But what I really love about being there is connecting with those we’re serving – getting to know their stories and their backgrounds and where they came from.”

The patient variety Bethany will experience in a hospital setting excites her. To achieve her goal, Bethany has two more years at Purdue where her current class regimen will transition more into labs and hands-on work. She would love to do study abroad during her undergraduate studies as well. After graduation, she intends to pursue a master’s degree to obtain her certification. That will be followed by a one-year “externship”, where she will be linked with a Speech Pathologist in a mentoring-style working relationship. Then she’ll be ready to work independently.

When Bethany isn’t in class or volunteering, she’s painting – a hobby she discovered a talent for early in high school. Her acrylic work sold out at a recent festival on campus this past fall, and she’s eager to continue to grow her talent, and a side business with her hobby.

“I am the first in my family to attend college,” says Bethany. "The Christie Foundation has been a tremendous help paying for college, and I am so thankful for their support."