Tell us about yourself!
I’m Jennifer Strong, born and raised in a quaint Alaskan fishing village. Despite my Alaskan roots, my parents originally came from California. My upbringing was deeply rooted in a family of medical professionals, offering me a firsthand glimpse into the world of caregiving. Witnessing my father’s exceptional dedication to serving others left a lasting impression.
My academic journey began at the University of the Pacific, where I laid the foundation for my future pursuits. Currently, I am actively pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology, specializing in Public Policy and Law, with a deep commitment to advancing the field of School Psychology. Today, I am the proud owner of Cognitive Diagnostic Associates. Our primary focus is conducting psychoeducational assessments for students and offering unwavering support to families navigating the complexities of the IEP process.
The motivation behind starting this business stemmed from a profound need within our educational system. Additionally, my own children faced challenges within the public schools, underscoring the need for more comprehensive support. We are genuinely excited to make a difference and extend our assistance to communities in need. Furthermore, we take immense pride in our membership with the Learning Disabilities Association of America.
What’s a fun fact about you?
One fascinating aspect of my life relates to my hometown, Seldovia, Alaska, a quaint village nestled amidst the wilderness with a mere 300 residents. In our remote corner of the world, we had a distinct feature: nine payphones scattered across town. Seldovia’s isolation meant that reaching our community required either a flight or a boat journey, making our mode of communication truly unique.
During my carefree days playing outside with friends, there were moments when I needed my father to pick me up. To conserve our precious dimes, we devised an ingenious Morse code-like system for communication by pressing the payphone buttons. You see, my father couldn’t hear me until a dime was inserted. A single click conveyed “no,” while two clicks meant “yes.” My dad would diligently work his way through all nine payphones, systematically asking, “Are you at the airport? Are you at the post office? Are you at the city dock?” until he pinpointed my location. Once I signaled “yes,” he’d swiftly come to collect me.
This unique childhood experience nurtured my capacity to think creatively, akin to what School Psychologists term “Fluid reasoning abilities.” It instilled in me the ability to adapt and critically assess situations. Now, it’s time to “payphone” it forward and give back to the community that saved me countless dimes. I eagerly look forward to supporting not only my local community, including Learning Disabilities Association of America but also the cherished Alaskan community of my youth, a place I am incredibly proud to call home.
Why did you become a member of LDA?
I joined LDA with the goal of fostering a sense of community and raising awareness about special education, learning disabilities, and the vital support available to those in need. Through our platform on the website, we aim to unite people and highlight the diverse array of resources within the realm of special education. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to build a supportive community and connect families with this incredible organization.
Our company’s core mission revolves around this commitment, firmly believing that every individual deserves equitable support and access to the resources they require.