During the Spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the lives of graduating LEND trainees in New Hampshire in unprecedented ways.  After years of dedication to complete their master’s degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders, students were told there would be a delay in launching their careers. The closure of national examination centers, due to COVID-19, was delaying the processing of test results and subsequently delaying the granting of provisional licenses to speech language pathologists (SLP) in New Hampshire (NH).

Megan Morey, M.S., 2020 graduate, drew upon her LEND policy experience to take action. In May, she worked to change provisional licensing requirements for recently graduated students in NH. With support from fellow trainees, Caitlin Armstrong, M.S. and Miriam Arsenault, M.S., Megan made a presentation to the NH Speech Language Pathology Governing Board outlining the issues and offering solutions to enable graduating SLPs to get to work. In a way that closely resembled the policy brief created during her time in LEND, she gathered data and cited specific citations of regulations as she had previously done in the LEND program. The board members voted unanimously on the spot to issue an exhibit to be attached to the Governor’s emergency order extending the deadline for the national examination score to be submitted within 90 days of being issued a provisional license. The board commended Megan on a presentation that was “very professional, well- organized, logical, and well supported with data.” Without her LEND experience, especially the policy brief assignment, Megan reports she would not have felt confident or prepared enough to advocate on behalf of recent graduates in her profession and create positive change. She looks forward to starting her career as a speech language pathologist along with her peers and hopes to continue the path of advocacy that LEND taught her.