AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As we continue to honor Remarkable Women this March, our third finalist is Amanda Schaumburg.
Between helping kids to find their voices as a speech-language pathologist and volunteering, she stays busy. Schaumburg is not only inspiring others but also proving that dreams can come true with hard work and determination.
“My job is to help children and families find their voice, and communicate in their environment, and it that looks like a lot of different things,” said Schaumburg. “So when people think of speech therapists, they usually think, you know, ‘R’ sounds are maybe helping kids with lisps, but there’s so much more that goes into it.”
Schaumburg teaches speech therapy classes, mainly in public school settings.
She has also worked with the Turn Center.
“When I see a child make progress, with communicating, it’s just so amazing,” she said. “And families are able to connect with their child better, and they’re able to access their, you know, the curriculum at school and play with their peers.”
She also helps kids with language and vocabulary interventions, stuttering, and even developing their social skills.
“It’s just communication is such, you know, a basic human need and I just feel so honored that that’s my job,” said Schaumburg.
She also volunteers—a LOT.
Schaumburg serves on the board of a nonprofit called Smiles for Speech. There, she also serves as a resource creator.
“We provide speech therapy, occupational therapy, and also resources and training to underserved communities all around the globe,” she said about the nonprofit. “We just had a trip in December to Kenya and Ghana, where we’re establishing some programs. So that’s kind of where a lot of my time goes.”
She has also been involved with several local nonprofit organizations, including the Boy Scouts, Panhandle Regional Speech and Hearing Association, and coaching her Kids, Inc. teams.
“But my biggest passion is my special olympics teams,” she said. “I coach swimming and track for a team here in Amarillo. We’re the Tornadoes.”
In her career, Schaumburg took the long way around, but that didn’t stop her from succeeding.
“I’m a first-generation college student and then I also was a single mom. So, I got a job as a social worker and I worked for Child Protective Services during grad school,” said Schaumburg. “And I just say that because it really opened my eyes to what was really going on in our community right here.”
She said her time as a social worker helped her to better understand the barriers that families face in getting services for their kids.
“It took me about four years to get my graduate degree, which it’s typically a two-year [program] but I had to do it very part-time because I was trying to raise a son and work and do all that.”
Schaumburg recalled another setback during that time.
“I actually had a professor tell me that I should probably settle with just getting a bachelor’s because I would be able to handle grad school with a newborn as a single mother,” she said.
Four years later, she had her graduate degree—and a four-year-old.
“I got to show him that, yes, I could handle it and I did,” said Schaumburg. “And now you know, I have my own career and my own practice.”
Schaumburg has speech therapy resources available through Panda Speech.
Now, has a family who helps her volunteer.
“I’m always, you know, driving them places, and then I have my extended family. But I kind of pull in my family to help me,” she said. My boys and my husband started volunteering with me on my Special Olympics team, which has been the best thing ever. So I’m not away from them as much as I used to be.”
Her friend and nominator, Elizabeth West, said Schaumburg inspired her to reach her own goals.
“I had twins at 17 years old, and I got my LVN and I felt that that was it for me,” said West. “Just to watch her and overcome all her struggles and everything that, I’m now getting my BSN, my RN. I opened a little business myself on the side with a cosmetology license. So she really is an inspiration to reach for your goals, no matter like your circumstances.”
Schaumburg’s message to others following their dreams: “Don’t let anybody tell you you can’t be what you want to be.”