Los Padrinos aka Founders

Luz gaona

Luz Gaona

Bilingual Pathologist


Luz Gaona, an esteemed bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, is deeply committed to catering to the diverse needs of the pediatric population within our locality. In 2019, she undertook the noble initiative of establishing Southshore Bilingual Therapy, Inc. With a resolute focus on providing bilingual speech and language services, her organization is dedicated to addressing the often-unmet requirements of children grappling with developmental delays and/or special needs.

Ms. Gaona’s profound engagement with the community spans an impressive four decades, reflecting her enduring dedication to the welfare of children. As a first-generation Mexican American, her personal journey, rooted in humble beginnings, informs her empathetic approach to her work. Raised amidst the seasonal labor of harvesting vegetables and fruits across Florida and other states, Luz Gaona’s connection to Wimauma remained steadfast, with each autumn heralding a return for the school year.

During her formative years, Luz Gaona herself experienced the transformative impact of speech-language therapy at Wimauma Elementary School.

Recounting those pivotal moments, she fondly remembers her speech therapist as the catalyst for recognizing her identity, embracing her inherent abilities, and instilling a profound sense of confidence. It is this ethos that Ms. Gaona, now forty years hence, and her dedicated team at Southshore Bilingual Therapy, Inc., aspire to emulate.

Presently, Southshore Bilingual Therapy, Inc. stands as a beacon of support, serving over 200 children on a weekly basis. Housed in an expansive 5,000 square feet clinic in Wimauma, FL, the organization exemplifies Luz Gaona’s unwavering commitment to providing comprehensive and compassionate care to the burgeoning population of children in need.

Having earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of South Florida, Luz Gaona embarked on a distinguished professional journey. Following several years of dedicated service in the field, she pursued and successfully attained a Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Florida State University.

Motivated by a palpable absence of representation, role models, and mentorship within the academic program, Ms. Gaona felt compelled to actively contribute to transformative change and thereby, contribute meaningfully to her profession. This commitment manifests in her close collaboration with Gannon University, where she serves as a community-based mentor for graduate-level Speech-Language students. These students, who express a dedicated commitment to internships with Southshore Bilingual Therapy, Inc., benefit immensely from Ms. Gaona’s wealth of experience and expertise.

In her role as a mentor, Luz Gaona finds profound fulfillment in sharing her ardor for the profession with emerging clinicians. She ardently believes in the importance of imparting exposure to the rich tapestry of diverse cultural differences evident in the families served at the clinic. Ms. Gaona’s dedication to fostering a new generation of competent and culturally aware clinicians reflects her unwavering commitment to the advancement of the field and the well-being of the communities it serves.

Driven by a firsthand awareness of deficiencies within local community services, Luz Gaona embarked on a transformative journey of advocacy on behalf of the children under her care. Recognizing the pressing need for comprehensive support beyond conventional avenues, she took it upon herself to establish the philanthropic arm of Southshore Bilingual Therapy, Inc., giving rise to the inception of Inspira Tampa Bay, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

The nomenclature, «Inspira,» derived from the Spanish word for «Inspire,» encapsulates Ms. Gaona’s overarching vision for this endeavor. With unwavering determination, she aspires to ignite inspiration within the community, motivating individuals to strive for the extraordinary and extend a helping hand to those in need.

Born out of a conspicuous void in community services, Inspira Tampa Bay, Inc. serves as a testament to Ms. Gaona’s commitment to inclusivity. In its essence, it is conceived as a sanctuary where children and their families, irrespective of socioeconomic backgrounds, can access group support facilitated by skilled therapists addressing various life skills.

Far beyond the realms of mere business endeavors, Southshore Bilingual Therapy, Inc. and Inspira Tampa Bay, Inc. embody the life mission of Luz Gaona. When queried about her aspirations, Ms. Gaona articulates a profound goal: «my biggest aspiration is to foster inclusion for the diverse population we call our neighbors, embracing all children. I am here to play my role in crafting a world where children with differences not only experience acceptance but are embraced for who they are, empowered to achieve maximal independence.» Through these ventures, Ms. Gaona seeks to weave a tapestry of support, resources, and inclusion for at-risk children, their families, and fellow professionals in the community, thus leaving an enduring impact on the lives of those she serves.

This year it is with great esteem that Inspira Tampa Bay, Inc. assumes the distinguished role of the official sponsor for Nuestra Reina Hillsborough 2024. This collaboration marks a significant milestone for us, as we anticipate the privilege of partnering with the esteemed pageant, extending our support to the aspirations and endeavors of the Latina leaders of tomorrow.

This collaboration is poised to yield profound benefits, fostering a symbiotic relationship between Inspira Tampa Bay, Inc. and Nuestra Reina Hillsborough. By aligning our platform with the pageant, we envisage the cultivation of a shared space that amplifies the voices of emerging Latina leaders, providing them with a heightened visibility and a broader spectrum of opportunities. Through this collaboration, we aim to empower and inspire, creating a platform where aspirations can flourish and where the impactful contributions of future leaders can resonate, thereby enriching the cultural tapestry of our community.

Luz Gaona, in a spirit of generosity and transparency, candidly imparts the highs and lows that have intricately woven the tapestry of her entrepreneurial odyssey. Her compelling narrative has been prominently featured in various articles, providing a nuanced insight into the multifaceted experiences that have collectively sculpted her path to successful entrepreneurship.


CanvasRebel: Meet Luz Gaona https://canvasrebel.com/meet-luz-gaona/

GoSolo by Subkit: Embracing Uniqueness, Promoting Potential-Luz Gaona https://gosolo.subkit.com/luz-gaona/

VoyageTampa Hidden Gems: Meet Luz Gaona of Southshore Bilingual Therapy http://voyagetampa.com/interview/hidden-gems-meet-luz-gaona-of-southshore-bilingual-therapy-inc/

Generation Si!: Get Used to It and Get Over it: Making Mistakes and Being Okay with It on Your Entrepreneurial Journey https://generationsi.substack.com/p/get-used-to-it-and-get-over-it-making-22-05-21?utm_source=%2Fsearch%2Fluz%2520gaona&utm_medium=reader2

Generation Si!: Unconventional Solutions Can Lead to Unexpected Results: A Woman’s Pursuit of Alternate Options to Achieve Small Business Success  https://generationsi.substack.com/p/unconventional-solutions-can-lead-22-05-22?utm_source=%2Fsearch%2Fluz%2520gaona&utm_medium=reader2

The Observer News: Christmas Sounds, activities can be unsettling for some kids https://www.observernews.net/2022/11/24/christmas-sounds-activities-can-be-unsettling-for-some-kids/