Board Member Spotlight: Meet Alyssa Hayes

Board member Alyssa Hayes joined Protected Harbor eight years ago. Among the many gifts and services she has contributed to our mission, her skills in speech pathology have greatly enhanced the communication needs and struggles of various residents. Recently, she has conducted weekly training sessions with two of our men, and has often said that working with them brings her nothing but joy and fulfillment.

When Alyssa was growing up, a friend’s sister suffered from Cerebral Palsy. Alyssa witnessed her family take care of all her needs well into adulthood. They used pictures to help her communicate which made such a deep impression on Alyssa that it became the impetus and inspiration for becoming a Speech Pathologist.  Her childhood experience created a true passion for the communication needs of people with special needs and their overall independence. Alyssa believes strongly in building independence and believing that if they can, they will.

Alyssa is proud to have spent the last 28 years as a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). Her career spans various professional positions in acute care, rehab, private therapy, and public education. Currently employed by Collier County Public Schools, Alyssa works with students PreK-5th grade. This population has varying degrees of cognitive, physical and language skills such as Autism, Developmental Delays, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, hearing impairments, Angelman’s Syndrome, and DiGeorge Syndrome. She is trained to use pictures, communication devices, and sign language to facilitate communication. She is a part of a team to address essential skills such as feeding and swallowing. In addition, Alyssa also serves students with speech delays or disorders affecting the correct pronunciation of speech sounds, while others need help understanding the meaning and use of language to succeed academically. She is trained in Orton Gillingham and enjoys working with students with Dyslexia.

Alyssa is a single mother of three boys: twins aged twenty-two as well as a seventeen-year-old. She has lovingly nurtured and watched her boys develop into well-adjusted young men. She is very grateful and credits a deep faith in God for this accomplishment. In addition to her service to others, Alyssa enjoys cooking for her boys and indulging her passion for gardening.

In her own words, Alyssa has expressed what it has meant to work with Protected Harbor: “PH residents have blessed me over the years with countless smiles, prayers, laughs, and stories. They all show such perseverance and grit overcoming their weaknesses and shining in their strengths. They bring such joy to my life. My prayer is that PH will continue to grow and serve many others in the future”.

She clings to the promise of Romans 8:28 that God works for our good. He works for “the good of those who love Him”. If you love God, you can trust that He is working for your good….He loves you and when we love people, we seek their welfare.

Romans 8:28 “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”