Alexa Prendergast, Fort Myers speech therapist

Alexa Prendergast, MS/CCC-SLP

MS/CCC-SLP

Mariah Kenagy, Fort Myers speech therapist FOCUS Therapy

Mariah Kenagy, SLP-A

SLP-A

Mariah Kenagy is a speech-language pathologist assistant with an affinity for working with children.

“They bring me so much joy, and I love helping them learn, grow, and explore,” she explained. “Helping children communicate functionally and incorporating their interests and needs is something I am very passionate about.” 

She grew up in Gower, Missouri, a place she describes as “a small town of 1,500 people and no stoplight.”

Although she knew she ultimately wanted a career working with kids, she spent the first two years of college without clear direction of her professional path – until the mother of a teammate on her collegiate volleyball team invited her to shadow her work as a speech-language pathologist for a day.

“It was an instant spark,” Mariah says. “I knew I wanted to become an SLP.”

While earning her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Missouri State University, she worked at a preschool, witnessing firsthand the importance of communication in the life of a child. Obtaining her bachelor’s degree in 2020, she began working as a tele-therapist in her home town, primarily for kids in middle school. She joined the FOCUS Speech Therapy team in May 2020, and is now enrolled in the Speech-Language Pathology graduate program at Florida State University.

She and her husband Colton, a golf instructor, moved to Southwest Florida after getting married, enticed by the beachside sunsets and year-round warm weather (though she does miss the fall leaves).

Here at FOCUS, she especially appreciates the chance to collaborate with an interdisciplinary team.

“We truly are one big family,” Mariah said. “I love learning from other therapists and disciplines within FOCUS, something that really makes this place so unique.”

She adds that parent involvement is key to every child’s success, which is why she prioritizes building positive relationships with every family as a cornerstone of her therapeutic philosophy.

When she’s not at FOCUS, she and Colton are spending time with Teddy, their adopted golden retriever, as well as playing golf, working out, hanging out with their church family, cheering on the Chiefs and seizing every opportunity to travel.

Samantha Glosser, Fort Myers speech therapist

Samantha Glosser, MS, CCC-SLP

MS, CCC-SLP

Samantha Glosser – AKA “Sami from Miami” – is a Speech-Language Pathologist with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Florida State University, as well as a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of South Florida. She started at FOCUS Therapy in October 2020.

Driven to become a therapist by a strong desire to help others, she found inspiration in her parents’ careers.

“My dad is an orthopedic surgeon, and my mom is a social worker. I used to go to ‘Take Your Kid to Work Day’ with them, and loved that their jobs were all about helping others. I decided I wanted to go into a field where I could help others too.”

She chose speech therapy in particular because she saw the impact it had on her older brother, who as a child was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

“His symptoms were more severe when he was little,” she explained. “As the years passed, I have been proud to watch him grow and mature with the help of multiple therapy disciplines. The skills he’s been taught have helped him come out of his shell and show his kind, loving personality.”

Prior to starting at FOCUS, she treated pediatric clients with a range of conditions and challenges, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, hearing loss, and cochlear implants. She also spent two years working with adults and geriatric patients at Lee Memorial Rehabilitation Hospital, as well as one year working within the D.C. public school system. She completed her internship at Kid Pro therapy services in Tampa. In addition to being a licensed speech-language pathologist within the State of Florida, Glosser has an ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence, and an Interactive Metronome Therapy Certification and is ASHA National Outcome Measures Certified.

She believes the best kind of speech therapy is that which targets functional needs.

“There are lots of different approaches to use and skills to be taught,” she said. “The best thing you can do is talk to the client and family, determine what communication skills are impacting them the most at home, and focus on those that will improve their overall quality of life.”

Helping kids with early language developmental delays and articulation disorders is something she finds especially rewarding.

“I enjoy working with children in a play-based setting because it allows me to let my inner child out!” she exclaimed. “I get excited on days we are having dance parties, making slime, or engaging in other fun activities you wouldn’t find yourself doing in a hospital or office setting. I absolutely love being able to make a difference in these children’s lives while also having so much fun doing it.”

In large part, that’s what drew her to join FOCUS Therapy.

“I think the family environment at FOCUS is really special,” she said. “The people here make the children feel welcome, offer help at every turn, and create an overall atmosphere fun.”