“When humans are denied the opportunity to use their voices to express their desires or ideas, it is not uncommon for conflict to arise in their lives. Thus, it is Jade’s great passion, and professional mission, to provide a voice for marginalized populations through language and speech intervention.”
Jade Romain is a Los Angeles native, has had opportunities to work and study in many cities and countries across the globe. She was graciously offered a full ride scholarship from a Los Angeles Board of Education member to attend Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans. It is there where she discovered her passion for Speech Language Pathology. After completing her Bachelor of Science, she moved to New York to obtain her Master’s in Speech Pathology from Teacher’s College at Columbia University. While attending Teacher’s College, Jade was able to deepen her knowledge on the communication deficits related to various marginalized populations such as incarcerated individuals. After recognizing the correlation between lack of language intervention and crime, her mission was born.
Currently, Jade is serving as a Speech Language Pathologist for Los Angeles Unified School District working with adolescents. In her free time, she volunteers for the Prison Education Project and enjoys fully immersing herself in nature.
Here’s her story!
How was your childhood experience? What shaped you into the woman you are now?
My childhood was interesting. I grew up in multiple “inner city” or low income neighborhoods in Los Angeles, during which I was exposed to people from all walks of life. When I was younger, my Mom and I would play a game during our morning commute in the challenging LA traffic. She would have me look at the individuals in the surrounding cars and then ask various questions like, “Where do you think he’s going?” or “Why does she look so angry?” At the time, it was just a game. But as I got older I realized she was working to plant the seeds of empathy and sensitivity; two things which would hold me in good stead for my purpose in life to serve others. In addition to the game we played, I watched how my mom interacted with others. My mom converses with every person that has the ability to speak, and she does it gracefully. Observing my mom as she never turns a person down, regardless of the circles or flips life has brought that person through. Undeniably, she has painted the picture of the woman I want to grow & flourish into. Besides watching my mom’s every move, there are cards that God dealt me in life that served as puzzle pieces for discovering my purpose in life. On one side of my family I’m constantly exposed to poverty and its byproducts like violence. While on another side of my family, all of the men are educators. I was able to put these pieces together and realize that my purpose here is to serve as an educator for the individuals who are deemed as invisible which many times includes individuals living in poverty.
You’re a speech language pathologist. Are you working at a school? What is your day like?
My day starts around 5ish AM with a morning routine that sets the tone for the day. I wake up, express my gratitude to the Lord for blessing me with another opportunity to live in my purpose, say my prayers, do some reading, and then actually begin getting dressed…20 minutes before I need to leave for work (: I am currently serving as a Speech Language Pathologist for the school district here in LA. I work with middle school and high schoolers that have communication difficulties such as language or speech deficits. My day consist of small group therapy, classroom observations, tracking notes, and of course prepping for IEPs…our favorite (:
As a new SLP, the biggest challenge that I am facing is being able to provide the students with adequate strategies so that they can go into the world and speak love and stand up for what is right. This becomes more difficult when you have students that struggle to express their thoughts or have difficulty comprehending spoken or written language. It becomes even more challenging when we have to work through the negative effects of poverty.
We’re apart of the Goal Getter Networking Group, a business network where liked mined individuals connect and learn business strategies. You mention you would like to start a business. What business are you looking to start? Who is your audience? How will your business change the life of others?
At the beginning of this year, I asked God to reveal a word to me that I would be able to apply to all my goals. The word revealed was HUSTLE. As a black woman, I naturally began to reflect on what it means to be black and hustle. Moving away from the traditional hustler that stays in front of the corner store all hours of the day and transitioning into our mothers who do whatever they needed to do to put food on the table, or the janitors that work 12 hours a day to provide a clean environment for the individuals that occupy the space, or students that are working hard to excel in their classes…Society has consistently told black people we cant; thus, we hustle and grind to climb the same ladders that others have tried to knock us down from. From these thoughts, blkhstl was born. It is a lifestyle that emphasizes the cons isn’t hustling from the black community that goes unrecognized. It also serves to motivate black individuals to continue pushing forward to cultivate love and success for our community.