Funded by endowment support, Stan Craig ’23 attended a research internship that helps students with speech therapy.
There are, for each of us, challenging mountains we need to climb. True leaders, ascending the mountains set before them, will help guide others facing similar obstacles. With sustained devotion to serving others, Stan Craig ’23 is one of those benevolent leaders.
As a 6th Grader, Stan, grappling with a speech impediment, attended an intense two-week speech therapy program at the Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI). Deconstructing the practice of speaking syllable by syllable and breath by breath, the program at HCRI gave Stan the lessons and the confidence he needed to help transform him into the strong speaker he is today.
As Stan grew up, he continued to succeed at Collegiate School as he progressed through each division. He is a student that pursues excellence with enthusiasm and conviction, and he maintained the speech practices he learned during his time at HCRI. But he understood that there were other people that could benefit from those same practices. Like all great trailblazers, Stan began thinking about how he could help others facing challenges similar to his own.
In the spring of 2021, Stan began a GoFundMe campaign that raised $10,000 for the HCRI, which helped award scholarships to attendees at HCRI’s stuttering treatment center. “I wanted to do anything that would help other people at the program,” Stan says. “Giving other people who really need it those same opportunities — and making the program itself more accessible to others — was really important to me.”
Then, as Stan embarked on his final summer before his Senior year at Collegiate, the School granted him a portion of the William “Bill” Reeves Renaissance Student Award, which he used to attend a research internship at HCRI. The endowment grant gave Stan the opportunity to continue his work with HCRI, where he connected with participants at the speech therapy center and explored in detail the methods of — and science behind — client therapy speech training.
“What I did over the summer was work with the speech technicians to help quantitatively categorize a participant’s speech with certain therapy programs,” Stan explains, “which means we would take samples of a participant’s speech and then discuss what therapy methods would be most effective. It was impactful in a new way for me because I learned more about the quantitative measures of speech and voice onsets.”
Each summer, as part of Collegiate’s commitment to promoting a challenging and supportive educational experience, the School awards grants to Upper School students who complete a rigorous application process. The endowments allow students to explore meaningful areas of study in their chosen subjects of interest. This past summer, 14 Upper School students pursued enrichment experiences, ranging from programs such as Stan’s to intensive college preparatory courses, funded by endowment support. “I’m so grateful for the grant I received from the School’s endowment,” Stan says. “That Collegiate has opportunities like this is really great, because they allow people to explore things they’re passionate about that they might not be able to do without it.”
Stan’s support of others, as always, endures. After his research internship over the
summer, Stan began working with a student who recently attended HCRI’s speech therapy
program. Each week, Stan takes what he learned through the support of the Reeves
Renaissance Student Award endowment and works with a Richmond-area student on
speaking skills. They practice breath control and syllabic progressions, and Stan helps the
student with his confidence.
“With these new speech strategies, I’ve been working with this student to help
him with his speech and just generally help him with school,” Stan says. “Having a
stutter has nothing to do with intelligence or personality, and having conversations with
students like him helps pave a path forward for people. To be there for someone, to help
them become more comfortable with who they are — I’m really grateful I’ve been given
the opportunity to do that.”
***Endowments play a vital role in allowing students to explore their passions and interests, which better prepares them for future success. The following are the students who participated in this summer’s engaging endowment programs.
Published in the print edition of the 2022 fall Spark magazine, which will begin arriving in mailboxes December 15.