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Jackson LeMone


Pleasant Grove, UT

My Story:

When I came to BYU, I thought majoring in Linguistics was the perfect match for me. After taking several classes in the major and looking at job opportunities within the field, I didn’t feel like linguistics was the right fit, even though I enjoyed learning about it.

I didn’t know exactly where to go from that point, but I knew that I wanted to help others and have a meaningful career. After lots of research and trying to find what I wanted for my career and future, I decided that Communication Disorders was the best option for me and allows me to learn more about communication and help people along the way. I’m excited to apply to the program and see what opportunities it brings!


TV Show: Stranger Things, The Office

Movie: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Food: Thai Food

Animal: Not sharks

Color: Blue

My Exploration Experience

At the beginning of my college experience, I didn’t have a specific end goal in mind. I’ve always felt that the ability to communicate is a priceless, valuable skill, and I wanted to learn more about it, so I  thought about teaching a foreign language or interpreting. I felt strange declaring a major without having an end goal, but I declared Linguistics my major and moved forward.

I served my mission in Thailand and had the amazing opportunity to learn the Thai language. After returning home, I went on a study abroad in Rome, Italy for 2 months, where I studied the Italian language and culture, explored lots of my family history, and connected with my Italian roots. While living abroad, I had saw how my ability to speak the language impacted my ability to connect with others. It was a challenge to learn both of these languages but the benefit of being able to communicate was invaluable.

I returned home from these experiences and continued working on my degree. Though I was a declared Linguistics major, my enthusiasm was fad fading. I felt stuck, and that feeling continued for about six months. I was taking a few beginner linguistics classes, and as I took the final for one of the core classes, I realized I couldn’t see myself doing this type of work forever. Linguistics focuses heavily on grammar and syntax, and that’s not what I wanted to do. I also realized there were some conflicts with the linguistics field and with my own values, especially the lifestyle. I knew that linguistics could lead me to work abroad and with international companies, but staying close to home and family in Utah Valley is a priority for me and my wife. Realizing this was a big pivoting point for me. When I walked out of that final, I knew I had to look for a different path.

I took an Integrity for Life class on campus focused on the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It was in that class that I realized that I wanted to help people by improving their ability to connect via spoken and sign language. I had learned firsthand how hard it was to be able to talk to people due to brain fog, language barriers, and the language learning process. Not having that skill in communication would be crazy hard, and it would be difficult to live a normal, productive life. By taking my past experience from learning languages and connecting it to learning disorders, I realized that Communication Disorders was not only really cool but also very important. Moving forward, I will be taking prerequisite classes for the program and hope to pursue a Bachelors and Masters in Communication Disorders.

Why is Exploring Important to Me?

I love the quote,” If you don’t try, then you don’t do, and if you don’t do, then why are we here?”. Exploring pushes you to try new things and leave your comfort zone. If you really want to find success and fulfillment you need to venture out and do new things. If not, you end up staying in the same place. Moving forward is important to me and has helped me get on the right path, even if it was uncomfortable for a time.

When I was deciding on a different career path, I overheard someone in passing say that they studied communication disorders, and I looked into it. My wife’s coworker is in the program, so I did an informational interview with her, asking what her end goal was, what the teaching environment was like, etc. As I continued with my own research, I also found that communication disorders had stable job positions and there was a need for it here in Utah. Knowing that this path was a potential option opened my eyes to see that there were more ways to be involved in the language field/field of communication beyond linguistics.

Looking Back

I wish I would have reached out for help as I tried to learn more about majors and opportunities. My view was very narrow going into it. Looking back, I would have wanted to learn more about the resources that BYU campus has. I feel like that would have relieved a lot of stress that comes with attending college. I wish I would have been more open to different possibilities instead of one, concrete path that I “thought” was right.

Does Pineapple belong on pizza?

My Italian roots tell me no way.

Boring Fact About You

This one time I was going to go to the store, but decided not to.


I like eating Thai food as often as possible. I love jamming out on the guitar and learning new songs. Watching movies with my wife is the best and fun drives up the canyon. I run a small floral business with my sweet grandma. I love calisthenic training and playing lots of sports with family and friends. I love drawing and graphic design in my free time.