Seven Local High School Graduates Receive Award
Seven Rochester-area high school graduates are going on to the next step of their careers with a boost from the Rochester Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). The local HLAA chapter recently announced the winners of their annual Scholarship Award. The 2020 winners are:
Julia Carboni of Aquinas Institute
Emma Doughty of Hilton High School
Bridget Gates of Greece Odyssey Academy
Gianna Leone of Victor High School
William Pietarinen of Palmyra-Macedon High School
Chloe Reber of Penfield High School
Meghan Taylor of Webster Thomas High School
This Chapter has awarded scholarships annually since 1996. To date the Rochester Chapter of HLAA has supported 137 students with an award for their first year of college or vocational training, providing a total of $121,500 in scholarships.
Scholarship Co-Chairs Nancy and Doug Meyer remarked that this year saw an incredibly talented and motivated group of graduating high school seniors. "In past years we have seen strong applications from the hearing loss community, but our 2020 winners are really raising the bar on what young people with hearing loss can accomplish, and what goals they can set for themselves in the next part of their education and careers."
Hearing loss is only one aspect of who these talented young people are. Some of their ambitious goals include becoming a disability lawyer to advocate for those who are marginalized; working in interior design; becoming a dietician that works with the deaf community; using biomedical science to create virtual reality models with infectious disease; using skills of a communications degree with business and theater to help connect community members with their creativity; and becoming a speech pathologist.
Young people with a hearing loss have many options for support in their education: some use a Sign Language Interpreter; some have a note taker which allows them to focus more on receiving instruction through the teacher and Interpreter; some use special sound systems; some use hearing aids; some use a cochlear implant. HLAA Chapter President Suzanne Johnston praised this group of winners saying, “All of the students from whom we received applications had one solid thing in common: grit and perseverance. They saw what they wanted to achieve and learned to advocate for themselves to get the education and support they needed to achieve their goals. They did not give in to ‘status quo’, but instead persevered so that they could be successful.“
The Rochester Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America shares the mission of our National HLAA, working to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy.
More information about HLAA Rochester can be found at www.hearinglossrochester.org