Throwback Thursdays

first_responderI worked as a first responder during 9/11.  At the time, I was a program director in a community-based organization in Harlem, New York. My heart was full and I felt a call to help. As a person who stuttered, these opportunities while motivational often come with great fear. How could I help folks in crisis when I stutter? How could I provide counsel if I stutter? How can I communicate effectively when I stutter? As I began this work, I realized that my passion was stronger than my fear and even though I stuttered, I never gave up. I provided counsel, I helped families cope with the stress and grief of 9/11, I provided communities with support, and I stuttered well.

Dr. Liz Mendez-Shannon, MSW

Thursday, October 6, 2016

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Throwback Thursdays — 7 Comments

  1. Liz –

    You were such a gift to others on 9/11…and are still such a gift to this world!

    Hope all goes well for you and all of yours!


  2. Hi Liz-

    Thank you for sharing your experience, and your perspective about how stuttering takes on less importance during challenging times in our lives.


  3. Liz,

    Thank you for bringing us your thoughts on moving through such a difficult time for everyone and finding a way to be there for others.


  4. Liz,

    This is a very powerful post that speaks volumes of how passion and drive can overtake fear. Thank you for sharing! This post shows that stuttering does not define a person, and emphasizes the importance of turning something unique about yourself that tends to have quite a bit of negative stigma, into a strength. Choosing to look at something through a different lens can make all the difference.


  5. Hello Liz,
    Thank you for sharing your personal story. I find it inspiring that you found your passion was stronger than your fear. I believe this is so important for individuals to get to this point, to never give up, and to not let their fear define who they are. How would you recommend helping someone get past this fear of not being able to succeed; Is there anything specific that lead you to this point? I appreciate your great service and passion.