Claiming a Seat at the Table- Part 2

March 24, 2022

Episode 213

Listen on PodBean

Description: The Staff of STOMP-Specialized Training of Military Parents will discuss the important role that parents have in advocating for the emotional, medical, and educational needs of their loved ones with exceptional needs.

Show Notes:


The podcast was made possible thanks to the generosity of the North Country Spouses Club and the Spouses’ Club of Fort Eustis.



Guest Host: Marie McGarry

Marie, a native of Massachusetts, has lived in in 5 different States and two foreign countries during her 20 years as a military spouse. She currently calls Springfield, VA home.

Marie has a son and a daughter, both in High School. Marie has a master’s degree in Literacy Curriculum and Instruction and was an Elementary School teacher for 11 years.

Marie has been an Educator with the MCEC® since 2017.  In her free time Marie enjoys reading, cooking, and traveling.

Dee Bosworth:

Over twelve years of marriage to her Active-Duty sailor, Dee has been a Navy Command Ombudsman for six years (cumulatively) while raising their child with exceptional needs. She is a mom, teacher, therapy facilitator, and active volunteer with state and national programs for persons with disabilities. As a Political Science major and a graduate from her state’s Partners in Policymaking Program, Dee is passionate about advocacy and empowering military parents to advocate for a better world for our loved ones with exceptional needs

Keishawna Smith

Keishawna A. Smith is the wife of retired disabled combat veteran and mother of two children with special healthcare needs. Keishawna began working in the disability community when her first child was born at Ft. Hood, Texas. Later, she became involved with the Mississippi Parent Training and Information Center (MS PTI) as the Executive Assistant to the Director. She added on the responsibility and position of Parent Educator/Advocate, where she educated parents about their rights and responsibilities under IDEA/ADA. She has also been the Parent Coordinator for the Mississippi Family 2 Family Health and Information Center, helping families navigate health care systems and advocating for children with special health care needs across the state. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Mississippi Sickle Cell Foundation and was a consultant with Community Links coordinating for The Respite Connect (TRC) Program.

A major charge for Keishawna is to help parents/caregivers become better advocates for their children and their communities by assisting them in navigating health care and educational systems, accessing resources, and discovering the power of their voice. She wants to make sure that parents/caregivers are involved and have a seat at the table regarding their child(ren)’s health, education, and overall well-being.


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