Alumna Anissa Eckhoff Shadows YIS Speech Therapist
Anissa Eckhoff, Class of 2014, spent several weeks back on the YIS campus pursuing what she loves to do....working in the speech and language therapist field. After studying German and Drama in the United Kingdom for her undergraduate work, she decided to take a gap year, returning to YIS in the fall of 2017 to gain experience in the profession she plans on pursuing. Anissa shadowed Elaine Yandeau, our speech and language therapist, and took advantage of her undergraduate degree by assisting teacher Constanze Holtz in the Mother Tongue German classes.
Anissa elaborates, "My interest in speech and language therapy first arose when I worked as an assistant teacher one summer at YIS. The classroom teacher was Mrs Yandeau who introduced me to this profession and it captivated me instantaneously. This profession will enable me to live anywhere in the world to work either in hospitals or in schools. This profession is dynamic and varied, and I like how I can use my bilingual skills. I want to provide effective intervention to make a positive impact on someone's life."
Anissa would love to gain as much experience as possible in the field in the UK, where she plans on undertaking a Master's degree, before perhaps moving back to Japan as a speech and language therapist.
Of German and British descent, Anissa spent seven years at YIS. She recalls, "I think YIS is special in many ways and one of them is that our field studies (expeditions) were so insightful and fun. It was a great way to bond with teachers and our classmates. I particularly enjoyed going to Takayama, to Okinawa to scuba dive and going to Cambodia for voluntary work. These class trips were definitely highlights."
Speaking of her teachers at YIS, she adds, "Given what I ended up studying at university, the two teachers who have inspired me to the point where I found an enormous amount of passion in those subjects were Mrs. Holze and Mr. Meiklejohn. All my IB subject teachers played crucial roles, namely Mrs. Holze, Ms. Wilson, Mr. Rossing, Mr. Johnston, Dr. Amato, Mr. Hilbourne and Ms. Barbour.
She continues to meet classmates about twice per year both in the UK and Japan, primarily with her close circle of friends, but is eagerly awaiting her fifth and tenth year reunions with everyone.
Reflecting on her time as a student, Anissa comments, "I think I would like to relive Grade 9 because I wish I had done more activities, like trying out different sports, which are offered at YIS. The IB Diploma can be tough. But through the stress and the sleepless nights, as weird as it sounds, enjoy each and every moment. Find what you're passionate about and go for it. Don't let anyone or your inner voice stop you!"
We're very glad to see our alumni captivated by their interests and work, and proud to play a hand in their continuing development as members of society.