Meet Clinical Director Stephanie Maldonado-Velazquez of Livonia and Canton, MI!
Today we would like to introduce you to Stephanie Maldonado-Velazquez, Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Clinical Director of our Livonia clinics and the recently opened Canton location. We are so excited to extend our services further into western Wayne County, and look forward to reaching even more communities in the future!
Stephanie graduated from Eastern University of Puerto Rico in 2012 with a Master’s Degree in Bilingual Education. In 2016, she joined the field as a behavior technician and decided to pursue a career in ABA. Stephanie completed her Behavior Analysis certification program at the University of North Texas in 2017, joined Gateway in August of that year, and earned her Board Certification in 2018. Additionally, she is the practicum supervisor for Wayne County, helping practicum students prepare for a strong career in the field once their coursework is completed. Her main desire is to guide families to achieve a sense of empowerment and happiness.
Q: What made you want to go into the field of behavior analysis? Or what was the moment you knew you wanted to go into the field of behavior analysis?
A: Three weeks after being a behavior technician, I knew that I wanted to become a BCBA to help families and children with ASD.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a BCBA?
A: My favorite thing about being a BCBA is having the opportunity to help families. I have a passion for teaching families to implement the principles of ABA in their homes. This has allowed me to connect with families in a special way and seeing their progress as a unit is one of the most rewarding aspects of my career.
Q: What has been your favorite moment or memory in your career so far?
A: I have many great memories, it’s hard to only pick one! One of my favorite memories is seeing my client use a picture communication exchange system to request tickles from their parent.
Q: Who or what has been the biggest influence on your career?
A: All the clients I have worked with have shaped my career in a different and special way. I enjoy being part of their progress and achievements, I learn from them each day.
Q: If you weren’t a BCBA, what career would you pick?
A: I would be an FBI agent or a police officer.
Q: Do you have any hidden talents?
A: I know how to test precious metals like gold and silver.
Q: Who was your biggest hero growing up?
A: Growing up I enjoyed reading, I found heroes in the stories of authors like Isabel Allende and Sandra Cisneros.
Q: What is a random fact about yourself?
A: I love traveling.
Q: What’s something that made you smile recently?
A: The chill breeze of fall and seeing the trees change colors brings warmth my heart.
Q: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: It would be chocolate, I love chocolate.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I enjoy going on walks with my dog, online shopping and watching movies.
Q: If you could have dinner with one person (real or make-believe) who would it be?
A: I would love to have dinner with Lin-Manuel Miranda, I truly admire his creativity.