On April 16, 2021, Miya Brophy-Baermann defended her master's thesis, "Subjective Perception of Memory and Objective Assessment of Memory: Associations and Contributing Factors." On Mother's Day, at Fenway Park, she graduated from Northeastern University with an M.S. in speech-language pathology. She took a little time off, continuing to work at Black Sheep in Providence and Providence Coal-Fired Pizza in North Kingston, R.I., before landing her first professional job.
On July 12, Miya started her clinical fellowship year at Lincolnwood Skilled Nursing Facility in North Providence. Less than two weeks later, she celebrated her 24th birthday with family and friends. On July 31, she went with her parents to Manchester, N.H. to meet up with her beloved brother and sister-in-law, Belamy and Emma. They toured the Currier Museum's two Frank Lloyd Wright houses and enjoyed a lovely dinner together. Though she got home to Warwick, R.I. late Saturday evening, she decided to do one of her very favorite things... hang out with friends. Just a few short hours later, she was senselessly murdered in a drive-by shooting.
Just like that, Michelle and Bryan lost their beautiful, loving, hard-working, kind, empathetic, brilliant, goofy, caring daughter. Just like that, Belamy and Emma lost their adoring sister and best friend. Just like that, countless others who called Miya their friend lost a light that can never be replaced. The people or persons who ended her life remain free. We may never know who they were or why they did that they did. What we do know is that the cycle of violence goes on. While the Miya's Voice Scholarship will not break that cycle, it does aim to encourage young people who might never consider a career in the field of communicative disorders to do just that.
Especially in her graduate school program at Northeastern, Miya became aware of the lack of diversity in her profession, and of treatment inequities in health care. She wanted to do something – to work on diversifying the profession and creating cultural awareness among practitioners. The Miya's Voice scholarship is intended to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology. In establishing Miya's Voice, we are guided by Miya and everything she stood for: equity, social justice, helping others, kindness, friendship, empathy...