Leadership in Action

 Speaking from the Volta Bureau Autumn banner

Emilio Alonso-Mendoza summerDear Alexander Graham Bell Community,

The heroes of our community are the ones that work to make a difference in people's lives. In last week's column, I reflected on the value of leadership in action. I can think of no better way to continue that thread than with the story of Regan Brady whom I met last year in Cleveland.

At the age of 11, Regan wrote about her experiences with cochlear implants, as well as other cochlear implant users. Her advice and stories were eventually published as a book, Listening to the Waves. She wrote it to share her story so that parents and teachers of deaf children might learn from her experience.

Many in our community know Regan well. I had the privilege of meeting Regan with AG Bell past president Don Goldberg who counts her family among the many that he has had the good fortune to work with in his career. Today, Regan is 16 years old and visited us at the Volta Bureau the Friday before last. It's always wonderful to speak with Regan. 

Regan Brady and her Dad Cory Brady
Regan Brady and her dad, Cory Brady, on the top
of the Volta Bureau in Washington, D.C.

She enjoys the thrill of competition. She is a member of the Hathaway Brown varsity lacrosse and cross-country teams. This past weekend she participated in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. The Marine Corps Marathon supports injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their families through the Semper Fi Fund. This year, Regan and her father have raised $18,000 for this cause. The spirit of philanthropy is at the core of this family's values.

Regan has been spending her summers working in a Science Research Program at a nearby university, and participates in her Speech & Debate team at school. Amid this very busy schedule, Regan also makes time to serve as a mentor for fellow Advanced Bionics cochlear implant candidates and recipients, and her goal is to reach out to local children who are deaf and hard of hearing. If you would like to follow Regan's journey and read about her life experiences, you might enjoy her active blog. 

Emilio Alonso-Mendoza with staff at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
I'm with staff of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Left to right: Cristina Costas, Domitille Lochet, me, Ivette Cejas,
Lynn Miskiel, Kari Morgenstein, Annie Rodriguez
and Myriam De La Asuncion.
I am writing to you from the road, having just visited with Lynn Miskiel, who is the Program Director for the Auditory/Oral Education Program at the University of Miami Ear Institute's Department of Otolaryngology. Her efforts in promoting listening and spoken language are exactly the type of spirit that AG Bell strives to support. Ivette Cejas, newly minted as an AG Bell board member, was there and we spoke about the AG Bell board meeting that will take place at the Volta Bureau on November 14 and 15. I am excited to have Ivette working with our association community and as part of our board. 

I was in Miami to attend the Independent Sector Conference which is an annual meeting geared towards nonprofit leadership and advocacy. Based in Washington, D.C., the Independent Sector Conference focuses on the key trends that are shaping the nonprofit sector, bringing together more than 250 thought leaders who are inspiring new ideas and exploring ways that our organizations can achieve a bigger impact in our communities.

I was inspired by Michael Brown, co-founder and CEO of City Year, who received the John Gardner Award for his leadership in the service movement and commitment to education and social justice. These same principles transcend sectors and serve as the hallmark of the work of AG Bell - and the work our members do every day in the field. I hope that you will take the time to send us a short video of the work that you do with children and families. I hope that you will speak out about your experiences with hearing loss and share your journey with us!


Until next week,

 

Emilio Alonso-Mendoza
[email protected]

 



Believe you can and you're halfway there.
- Theodore Roosevelt