the Chapter Leaders
Chaya Goldstein I am a speech-language pathologist and a person who stutters. I am also an avid dancer, runner and hiker, and love reading books on topics such as human psychology and neurodiversity. I work in Queens, New York as a school-based speech therapist and teach the course on stuttering at Long Island University. I grew up as a covert stutterer and experienced much frustration hiding my stutter, despite attending fluency shaping therapy during my elementary and high school years. My frustration fueled my determination to uncover the mysteries of stuttering and I entered the field of speech pathology in my sophomore year of college. This led to one of the most transformative life experiences. It was at that time that I learned about the National Stuttering Association and joined the self help community. At the same time I interned at the American Institute for stuttering, and after witnessing the incredible transformation that took place, attended the program as a client myself. These experiences forever altered my relationship with my stutter. I went from experiencing shame and fear to accepting and embracing my stutter exactly as it is. It is my deepest desire to support those on their journey of self discovery and share in their struggles and triumphs. As co-leader of this chapter, I intend to create a safe place for those who stutter to come and share their personal challenges and successes, and to grow together in our journey of self acceptance and empowerment.
Marc Winski Originally from Indiana, has been living in New York City for a few years. Being a person who stutters from a very young age, he was introduced to the National Stuttering Association after he attended the American Institute for Stuttering in 2010. He was welcomed with open arms and has not looked back since. He has been to a few NSA conferences and loves to travel to wonderful destinations to spend time with some of the amazing friends that he has met through the NSA community After graduating from Indiana University with a degree in theatre, Marc traveled the country for 2 years with such Broadway shows as Grease and Hairspray before making NYC his permanent residence. While on tour, he was able to educate others all around the country (and Canada) about stuttering. Between productions on stage, Marc is a tennis instructor in Manhattan and gets the opportunity to work with some amazing children. As an avid sports enthusiast, he loves to play tennis, softball, basketball, football, and basically anything that constitutes as a sport. He is excited to be a co-leader of this new chapter and thrilled to share in the experiences of the stuttering community with others.
Michael Taub I’m a former ESL teacher, I love living in the city, I’m learning (slowly) to play guitar, and I’m a person who stutters! Growing up, I went to a handful of different speech therapists, but nothing clicked until I did a three-week-long intensive program at the American Institute for Stuttering (AIS) in 2002. Instead of only focusing on how not to stutter, we spent a bunch of time learning to accept stuttering. I began advertising my stutter (telling other people that I stutter) and just being more open about my stuttering in general. This has been the most effective, and still is the most challenging change that I’m continuing to make. I want to keep on meeting others who stutter and talking openly about stuttering with new people, which is why I’m psyched about starting this group with Marc and Stavro. Since each of us coming to this group is unique, we’ll probably all approach stuttering differently and have our own personal goals, which is great. I’m hoping that at this chapter we can find a friendly, safe place to relax, talk about whatever, and be comfortable with ourselves.
Spring Kwok, originally from Houston, Texas, currently lives in downtown Manhattan. She graduated from New York University in May 2016 with an Economics degree and is pursuing a career in the fashion business. She is a 1st generation Chinese American, and enjoys reading classics, knitting and crocheting, and astrology. She has been a covert stutterer for most of her life, and it was not until 2014 when she attended her first NSA chapter meeting that she began to seek acceptance with her stuttering. In 2015 she attended an intensive program at the American Institute for Stuttering (AIS), and in 2016 she attended her first NSA Annual Conference. Although her acceptance journey has gained momentum and lost momentum in these few years, she has discovered unending empowerment and gratitude through connecting with individuals in the stuttering community. She still deals with remnants of past shame every day, but it has been incredibly therapeutic for her to analyze stuttering in society and identify with mutual stuttering experiences. As a new co- leader of the Midtown chapter, she is committed to listening, learning, sharing, and growing more with everyone and with herself.
Stavros Ladeas I’m first-generation American from Greek parents and grew up in the nearby Poconos. I received my bachelor’s in psychology from Tulane University and put it to good use by coming back to managing my family’s restaurant for seven years and also getting involved in a couple other real estate ventures during this time. In the summer of 2011 I moved to Brooklyn where I dabbled in a few interests of mine – sustainable building and iPhone app development. More notably I spent some of this time travelling abroad with my brother and investing in myself. I started attending the NSA Brooklyn chapter meetings, and to put it simply, the strength I have received from this community has blown me away. I have gone from covert stutterer to stuttering openly, and during these last couple years I have stuttered my face off with family and friends who have known me as a fluent speaker for all of my life. If you’re not sure, this is a good thing for me. As co-leader of this NSA Midtown chapter, I’m continuing my journey and hopefully I will help others with theirs. As for my professional endeavors, I’m following my interests in technology and am pursuing a career in web/app development here in New York City. Here is my full story.