Congratulations AG Bell Scholarship Recipients!

Speaking from the Volta Bureau Spring banner

Emilio Alonso-Mendoza summer

Dear Alexander Graham Bell Community,


It is a very exciting time for the AG Bell community and a busy time for volunteers. Selection committees for College Scholarships, Nofer Scholarships and Arts & Sciences Financial Aid have been reviewing well over 200 applications, and School-Age Financial Aid is next. It is great to see professionals, colleagues, parents and educators engaged in the process. AG Bell connects supporters and advocates with those that seek to promote progress, change and a quality of life with no limits. 

We are honored by the time they dedicate to serving children with hearing loss, helping them to achieve their dreams.   

I'd like to give a special thanks to everyone who worked to provide scholarships for families who want to attend the AG Bell Convention for the first time this year. We've broken another record, and 11 families will join us in Denver this summer because of your support. Convention families come from across the nation, from different backgrounds, different experiences and different support systems, but they all have something in common: a deep desire to learn all they can to help their children succeed in learning and achieving through listening and spoken language. 

Consider this statement from the mother of one family: 

"I am a single mom, so having extra money to put towards a trip as wonderful as this is almost impossible. If I should win an opportunity as great as this, I promise you that it will not get wasted. I love to learn as much as I can from the community and professionals I have the pleasure of meeting. It would also be great for [my son who is 5] to meet so many other children like himself. With all of this said, Yes, I would like the opportunity to go to the AG Bell Convention to learn and prosper, but if another family is chosen, I am positive that they are well deserving and will utilize your generosity to its fullest."  

This is a parent who has been fighting for her child to receive the support and services he needs since infancy, when his pediatrician advised there was no need to hurry for an audiological exam, and the early intervention program told her that her son would never talk. This mom leads efforts to raise funds for her son's school, organizes open house activities, and even took a course to learn how to advocate for education of people with hearing loss. 

Another parent told us that one year after their 2-year-old received a cochlear implant, they have 

"Taken on a new role...and committed ourselves to trying to be part of the hearing loss community. We have had so many good people steer us in the right direction that we can only hope to try and return the favor to those in need. I have always said about both my children, the best thing I can give to them as a parent is the opportunity to succeed in life. This Convention is another such opportunity."  

These are just a couple of the outstanding stories applicant families told us. We look forward to their participation at the Convention, especially in parent forums and storytelling sessions, and hope they come away ready and willing to help other families in their area using the information they learned at the Convention. 

Another immense gesture of support we would like to see from all our supporters is their voice on social media platforms. The telling of real stories about real accomplishments will do more to encourage and support families of children who are deaf and hard of hearing than we can do alone. With your involvement, so many others seeking resources for their child diagnosed as deaf will find not only AG Bell, but also the strength and the will to help their child learn to listen and speak. Nothing can be more inspirational than your videos on the AG Bell YouTube channel, so I encourage you to keep them coming. 

Thank you to the selection committee members for the many hours they spend reviewing applications! It's not an easy job - it's wonderful to be able to give away financial support, but there aren't enough resources yet to answer every request. We all hope that one day with your help we'll be able to support everyone who asks for our assistance. 

Less than two months away - I am truly looking forward to sharing the 2016 AG Bell Convention experience with you!  

In the spirit of celebration, 

EAM-signature

Emilio Alonso-Mendoza
[email protected]

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Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.

- Kofi Annan