This month we catch up with Lola Rosario Brown who shares her passion for helping others and gives us beautiful insight to the great work she does in the field of Autism as a regional program supervisor, overseeing behavior analytic programs for clients with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
What years did you attend St. John’s School?
1993-2000 (3rd-9th grade)
What did you do the year following High School graduation?
I moved to Hawaii to attend UH Manoa.
Can you tell us about the career path you chose after college?
I graduated from UH West Oahu with a bachelor’s in Sociology. While working on that degree, I began working for a Navy family as their children’s’ homeschool teacher and nanny. Their youngest daughter was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and suffered from many co-morbid diseases, including epilepsy, mitochondrial dysfunction, and mast cell activation syndrome. In order to treat her developmental delays, her family enrolled her in applied behavior analysis treatment under the supervision of a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst. As her caretaker, I observed and participated in her therapy sessions, and fell in love with the field. I soon began a master’s degree program with Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College and earned a master’s in Education Curriculum and Instruction specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis. I also completed a long journey of fieldwork and field supervision, and sat for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board exam and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in February 2016. Right now I work as a regional program supervisor for a private company, overseeing behavior analytic programs for my clients with ASD, ranging in age from 2-19 years old.
Outside of work, what other activities/organizations are you involved in?
I am involved in Applied Behavior Analysts International, Virginia Association of Behavior Analysts, and Talk About Curing Autism.
What do you enjoy most about your current career position?
I love the opportunity to help my clients and their families. There are a lot of tough days, such as when my clients become very self-injurious, usually because they have not yet learned a functional way to communicate, and are therefore incredibly frustrated. The good days make it all worth it, though. One of my best days was when a client, who was 6 years old at the time, and had only really been able to say one word statements (e.g., no, milk, cracker) walked into the room, climbed into his mom’s lap, and when she told him she loved him, he said, “I love you” back to her for the very first time. Can you imagine having to wait 6 years to hear your baby tell you he loves you? Mom and I were able to share a very special moment and revel in his success earned from hours upon hours of treatment. I also love mentoring up-and-coming behavior analysts, who work as technicians under my supervision. Watching their passion for the field ignite and grow is incredibly rewarding.
How has attending St. John’s prepared you for success in college and the workplace?
St. John’s had a rigorous educational program, and it prepared me in more ways than I can count. Taking the SATs every year gave me a huge advantage over my peers, giving me 10 years of preparation for my college entrance exams.
Do you still keep in touch with your St. John’s School friends?
I do! I actually married a SJS alumnus, Joey Brown, a few years ago! I always had such a crush on the cute upperclassman, and can’t believe we reconnected! We currently live in Virginia with our three awesome dogs. Joey is a military Officer and that’s the only reason we are still so far from home. We are hoping to make our way closer to Guam after Joey finishes his current assignment as a Special Reconnaissance Operations Officer. My sister, Pika, also graduated from St. John’s, and I am of course in very close contact with her!
Do you have a favorite teacher, mentor or counselor?
Ms. Chu! I loved her and her classes. It sounds silly, but I miss the lower school snack store with all the delicious rice crackers!
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