James DeBord-President Schreiber Pediatric Center

James DeBord, President of Schreiber Pediatric Center in East Hempfield Twp. Monday December 16, 2019.

Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development recently partnered with Penn State to create a scholarship to help graduate students of color continue their studies in speech therapy.

Schreiber is raising $275,000, which will be matched by Penn State’s Educational Equity Matching Program resulting in a $500,000 endowment.

The new scholarship will provide financial support to graduate students at a master’s level with demonstrated academic excellence in the field of speech-language pathology.

As an extension of the award, recipients will be granted the option of an externship at Schreiber, creating an opportunity for experiential learning that is expected to help the center recruit and hire more minority candidates for therapy positions.

“Throughout our history, Schreiber has always tried to provide services to some of the most vulnerable children in our community,” James DeBord said in a press release announcing the scholarship. “Our mantra is we will serve every family who needs us, and we want every child we see to reach their fullest potential.

“But in the past — and even still today — we have not achieved the diversity in our field that would best benefit our clients,” said DeBord, the center’s president since 2012. “By endowing this graduate scholarship at Penn State, we are taking a long-overdue step to advance equitable access to training in outpatient pediatric therapy services, with the long-term goal of creating a pool of speech-language pathology experts that reflect the communities they serve.”

Schreiber provides outpatient physical, occupational, speech and behavioral therapy for children from birth to age 21. It now serves more the 4,000 clients annually from 10 counties across central Pennsylvania.

What to Read Next