Let's meet Michael Molino, new Stutter Social host! Michael hosts Wednesdays alternating with Heather Najman.
1. Tell us about yourself.
I was born a raised in San Jose, CA. After graduating from Live Oak high school I attend Evergreen Community College in San Jose. With a couple years of getting very little accomplished I joined the Navy. My initial thoughts were to go see the world, have some fun, and maybe after few years I’d become more disciplined in the world of academia. After 24 years of naval service I settled down in Sacramento and it just so happened that California State University Sacramento has a Speech Pathology program. I graduated with a B.S. in Speech Pathology and Audiology in 2014 and am currently in my 2nd year of their Speech Pathology Graduate program.
2. What was it like for you to grow up stuttering?
I didn’t realize I stuttered until the 3rd grade. We had split up into reading groups and I then noticed I was not the same as a couple people had laughed as I was reading. From that point on I remember going to speech therapy until the 7th grade. Speech therapy at that point was shameful, which is the reason why I chose to stop going. I was pretty quiet as a child, which I find odd these days as I tend to talk a lot.
3. What made you interested in becoming a Stutter Social host?
I am currently the Sacramento chapter leader for the NSA as well as former chapter leader for Seattle. I have been on Stutter Social from time to time over the past couple years. I like the dynamic of the hangouts. I like how they are organic in nature and topics can develop into something much meaningful from hangout participants than initially intended. I like sharing and listening to stuttering journeys.
4. Do you have any advice for people who stutter?
I consider myself very open about my stuttering now as opposed to when I was younger. This doesn’t mean that I still don’t feel the struggle at times. All I can say is that when moments of struggle hit me, I usually take a moment to think about what is going on and then carry on. Talking about my struggles with somebody else who stutters helps tremendously.
Stuttering is not defining. I constantly see negative posts on social media in regards to stuttering… And until we embrace our speech, we will only see the negatives. Two negatives make a positive, right! So get out there and be positive!