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Cochlear Implants: Graeme Clark Scholarships Announced

Today, its hard to find inspiration for many of us. With all of the troubles in the world, were left to wonder how future generations will cope. And this is where we find inspiration true inspiration from the talented group of young people who are attending universities using Graeme Clark Scholarships to reach their lofty objectives.

The scholarships, named after famed Australian Professor of Otolaryngology, Dr. Graeme Clark, are awarded each year by Cochlear Americas, maker of the Nucleus cochlear implant. Professor Graeme Clark is the foundation Professor of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Melbourne. His pioneering work led to the first research implant bionic ear in 1978 and the first Nucleus implant in 1982. His lifelong commitment to improving the quality of life for those with hearing loss has resulted in a revolution not only for those afflicted but also their family and friends.

This unique award is presented to Nucleus cochlear implant recipients around the world to help defray the costs of higher education.  The scholarships are awarded based on students performance in academics, their leadership skills and the compassion and humanity theyve shown already in their young lives. And because all winners employ Nucleus cochlear implants, awards are also given out to those individuals who have shown their commitment to cochlear implant technology.

So, looking for a little inspiration to pick up your day? Look no further. Meet this years winners of the Cochlear Americas Graeme Clark Scholarships.

Meet Shoshana Cohn whos attending Bowdain College.

Shoshana was eight months old when diagnosed with hearing loss. She received her first cochlear implant at age seven, and a second at age 15.

This remarkable young woman was a high school honor student; she participated in theater and volunteered her time to several community programs, including work at a nearby school for deaf students.

Shoshana credits her parents with pushing her beyond her perceived limitations and, indeed, the future looks bright for Shoshana Cohn and those fortunate enough to know her.

Francisco Raymond Lara attends the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Born into a family that was unable to provide services to Francisco, who was born deaf, he began living at a state school for the deaf. During this time, he lost contact with his birth mother and was adopted by foster parents who showed the youngster that he could make positive change in his own future.

Francisco received a cochlear implant at 14 and hes been on the go ever since. He excelled in mainstream classes thanks to his improved communication skills. All through high school, this inspiring young man was also involved in sports, community and church groups.

Today, Francisco is an honor student at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf where hes majoring in computer networking and system administration. Heavy stuff. But we know Francisco will reach his goals. Thats the determination award winners exhibit every single day.

Michael Noble, attending Southern Methodist University.

Michaels hearing loss wasnt detected until he was 15 months old. His parents were told he would never hear, speak or function. But Michael and his parents fooled them all when he became one of the youngest cochlear implant recipients at the age of 2!

So whats he been up to since? He was a board member of the International Business Academy program, participated in three honor societies and left high school with a near perfect GPA. (Thats grade point average!)

Today, Michael is a freshman at SMU and a member of the schools Honors Program. He plans to major in business administration and marketing. Inspirational for a kid who wasnt supposed to function normally. Congratulations, Michael.

And thats Jentry Taylor at William Jewell College

Jentry experienced the struggles of hearing loss until she was fitted with a cochlear implant at the age of 15. Jentry calls her new-found hearing ability a miracle. And its obvious, from this young persons activities that Jentry takes full advantage of that miracle.

During her high school days, Jentry was an honor roll student and a member of the student council. Today, in addition to her studies, Jentry shares her story through public speaking engagements. Shes also written several articles on how cochlear implant technology improved her quality of life. We know that Jentry will go far, driven by her commitment to cochlear implant awareness, and were glad to have her onboard.

Say Hello to Matthew Wetmore from Illinois State

Matthew comes from a family of music lovers so its easy to understand the sadness they felt when they learned that Matthew was born deaf.

At the age of 8, Matthew received a cochlear implant that enabled him to not only hear music, but to play it well. Very well. Matthew went on to be the highest-placed trumpet player in the Illinois All-State Honors Orchestra in 21 years of his schools history. A major accomplishment for any student. An inspirational accomplishment for those who appreciate the significance of Matthews journey from deafness to acclaimed musician.

At Illinois State University, Matthew is majoring in education, hoping someday to become a teacher. We have no doubt that this young man will accomplish whatever he sets his mind to.

Exceptional, Inspirational People and a Bright Future for Us All

We all sometimes wonder whats the matter with kids today?

But then you meet some of the people who are going to shape the future for all of us and cant help but smile. These arent just good kids. Theyre remarkable people who have excelled despite whatever physical limitations they face.

This makes the winners of this years Graeme Clark Scholarships inspirational and exceptional. These are tomorrows leaders and that should make us all feel a lot better about a brighter future.

If you or someone you know is a recipient of a Nucleus cochlear implant and is or will be attending college in 2009, applications are now being accepted until June 30, 2008. Apply Now!

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