Dear AG Bell Community,
Yesterday, we celebrated Presidents’ Day – a national holiday when we honor the line of respected leaders of the United States who helped shape our country into what it is today. In fact, it was originally started to honor Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and was later incorporated to include all those who came between and after these great leaders.
Speaking of leadership, we are very fortunate to have an inspiring leader of this organization who is paving the way for AG Bell’s future as a global organization and working to bring Listening and Spoken Language to more children worldwide. With the expansion of AG Bell overseas comes a great vision for the organization and our members as we work to ensure people who are deaf and hard of hearing can hear and talk around the world. Through her leadership, we are currently planning our strategic initiatives for AG Bell’s future to accommodate this growth, as well as to bring new opportunities, services, and programs to children who are deaf and hard of hearing worldwide.
I know that the achievement she holds most dear is her commitment to AG Bell’s LOFT program, now in its 24th year. For the past 10 years, she has led AG Bell’s LOFT program as a Lead Counselor, guiding each new group of teens and providing them with the tools and skills to become great leaders, collaborators, self-advocates and communicators. She possesses all the attributes that LOFT develops in young teens that carry them into adulthood.
Click below to see Catharine as she reflects on her LOFT experiences and its impact on teens who are deaf and hard of hearing.
AG Bell’s LOFT program offers many valuable activities and experiences that help develop the qualities Catharine mentioned in her video. Here are just a few examples of what LOFT participants achieve:
- A sense that each teen is valued and appreciated
- A heightened sense of self-acceptance, self-worth and self-confidence
- A deeper understanding of the capacity for leadership skills that each teen has within himself/herself
- An experiential understanding of team dynamics, individual skill sets and collaboration for common purpose
- Increased confidence and ability for self-advocacy in social, travel and educational settings
I’d like to remind you that there is one week left to submit applications for this year’s program. Please share this column with your friends and colleagues to help spread the word about the exciting 2020 LOFT program for teens who are deaf and hard of hearing. Scholarships are also available. You can view the application online here.
I hope you enjoy the rest of this wonderful week.
Chief Executive Officer
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams