Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Lee Walls

Every Wednesday during the Amina Grace Speech and Language Session, GiGi’s is a hub of non-stop, purposeful programming with the Playhouse dedicated to providing families 1:1 Speech Therapy. We are incredibly grateful for a partnership with Loyola University Maryland/Loyola Clinical Centers and the dedication of on-site Faculty Supervisor Mary Lee Walls.

Mary Lee has been mentoring and supervising a group of enthusiastic Loyola University Maryland graduate student clinicians in the delivery of speech therapy services thru three sessions of the Amina Grace Speech and Language Program at GiGi’s. She is a bundle of positive energy and a wealth of knowledge. Mary Lee is highly respected by her student clinicians and the GiGi’s families she consults with. Never without a smile, Mary Lee demonstrates GiGi’s core values of Enthusiasm, Best of All, Get it Done, and Believe!

Mary Lee has been a Speech Language Pathologist for over 33 years. She worked for Prince George’s County Schools for 10 years in an Elementary School with an Orthopedic Wing providing speech/language therapy to students with primary diagnosis of Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, and other intellectual disabilities which often necessitated the evaluation and training of an augmentative communication system. She had the opportunity to work full time with Occupational and Physical therapist who really influenced her wholistic approach to therapy. She worked as a private practitioner for 20+ years serving students with language-based reading disorders, articulation, and auditory processing disorders in private and Catholic Schools.

In 2010, Mary Lee began working for Loyola University in the Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences Department as a Clinical Supervisor in the Loyola Clinical Centers (LCC)- Columbia Clinic. She has had the opportunity to work with amazing professionals in the field in both LCC clinics, and a variety of the off-site placements that partner with the LCC to provide their graduate students the clinical experiences required.   In 2013, she developed and implemented a Reading Readiness and an intensive articulation program that has been held each summer at St. Mark School in Catonsville; serving not only St. Mark School but the surrounding community.

Mary Lee shared that she “had the incredible opportunity” to be a part of GiGi’s partnership with Speech-Language Hearing Department and the Loyola Clinical Centers! Judy Co, GiGi’s Site Coordinator, provides the graduate clinicians and clinical supervisors with a tremendous amount of support and guidance to navigate the GiGi’s resources and documentation requirements.

Spring 2021 Loyola University Maryland – Amina Grace Program Team

Mary Lee shares, “Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week because they are spent at GiGi’s Playhouse which is such a bright, cheery, positive place. Our days are filled with focusing on and celebrating the successes of each of the participants with their families!”

Consulting after 1:1 sessions.

“The placement has afforded our graduate students the opportunity to safely work face to face with the families of GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis to provide speech/language therapy, weekly parent training, and resources. The feedback from the families has been extremely positive which reflects back to the creativity and effort of the graduate student clinicians”, Mary Lee adds.

Mary Lee’s professionalism, expertise and positive outlook make Wednesday’s a highlight for everyone at GiGi’s! Mary Lee goes above and beyond just supervising the graduate students, she attends GiGi’s fundraising events, volunteers for other opportunities, and supports the Playhouse in many ways.  Thank you Mary Lee, ironically, your dedication leaves us speechless, there are just no words! We are so grateful for your energy and heart.

Skylar enjoys working with student clinician Jenn.

Here’s what families say; “Skylar and the whole family have benefitted from this program. We’ve all learned some key signs/words that have greatly improved communication with Skylar. We learned that the entire family must be on the same page! The program is wonderful and I honestly can’t think of any way to improve it.”

“As a parent, I am watching Leah learn and I am learning how to teach Leah. The one-to-one speech session is really very good. Thank you GiGi’s for offering this speech service to our family.”

GiGi’s Annapolis kicks off the next Amina Grace Speech & Language Program this week with 24 participants receiving FREE speech services 1:1 for 10 weeks, thanks to a generous grant from the Baxley Foundation and the partnership with Loyola University Maryland and Loyola Clinical Centers.

We can’t wait to see GiGi’s participants back at the Playhouse building life-changing communication skills! Thank you Mary Lee, January’s Volunteer Spotlight shines bright!

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