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Meet the 2007 Winners of the Graeme Clark Scholarship

Abigael Lee Brimhall

07_abigail.gifDiagnosed with profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss at 10 months, Abigael received her cochlear implant at age 11. Now a freshman at BYU-Idaho, she is a shining example of success. While in high school, Abigael was a star student, enthusiastic athlete and involved member of her community. A national Honor Society member all four years of high school, she also received 4 service learning awards, and was recognized repeatedly for her academic accomplishments and community involvement. At BYU-Idaho, Abigael plans to study education and continue her impressive history of commitment to school and community.

Rachel Chaikof

07_rachel.gifRachel was born deaf and, after her early months with mixed results from hearing aids, her parents decided on the cochlear implant. Rachel was implanted in 1989. She received a bilateral implant in 2004. Rachel has excelled in a world where sound is key documentary filmmaking. For her high school film festival, Rachel made a documentary on cochlear implants that won two top prizes best documentary and best motion picture. Subsequent films also focusing on hearing loss- have been award winners too. Her website www.cochlearimplantonline.com/ was awarded first place at the Georgia State Tech Fair in 2002. After graduation from college, Rachel plans to produce documentaries that inspire and depict how others have overcome obstacles.

Kathryn DeVleming

07_kathryn.gifKathryn DeVleming credits her parents and her cochlear implant for helping her become the successful young woman she is today. With the Nucleus cochlear implant, my parents amazing dedication to my growth and development and my everyday interactions with the hearing world, I have become a strongly independent and confident woman, she says. Kathryn was implanted in 1991 and in 2005 she graduated first in her class from Clarkston High School in Washington State. Now a sophomore at Whitman College, she is majoring in English and pre-med. The recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, Kathryn is also an accomplished athlete, playing for her high schools varsity basketball, soccer and softball teams. After finishing college, Kathryn plans to pursue a graduate degree in physical therapy.

David Duncan

07_david.gifA lifetime of hearing loss makes me more aware of the things many take for granted, says David Duncan, a management student at Clemson University in South Carolina. David has excelled since his implant in 2005 at age 19. He was an Eagle Scout and continues his involvement with the Boy Scouts as an assistant Scoutmaster. At Clemson, he is highly involved. He is a member of the Blue Key National Honor Fraternity, the Student Alumni Council, the Golden Key International Honour Society, the Student Alumni Association, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and more. In addition to the Graeme Clark Scholarship, David has been awarded the Palmetto Fellow Scholarship, the Lucille A Abt Scholarship (Alexander Graham Bell Association), Clemsons Presidential Scholarship and others. Of the effect his implant has had on his life, David says, even more important than hearing things such as birds singing and leaves rustling on the ground, is the increased confidence I have received. Once I feared how I would succeed in a career in which human interaction is vital, [now] my increased confidence allows me to face the future boldly.

Jordan Scott Sack

07_jordan.gifA freshman at Brown in the universitys 8-year undergraduate/medical school program, Graeme Clark Scholarship winner Jordan Scott Sack plans to become a physician. I look forward to the day when I can offer hope to patients, he says. Though his hearing loss was discovered when he was just 13 months old, Jordan started out with hearing aids and did not receive his first implant until he was ten. After implantation, Jordan wasted no time, making up a 2-3 year language deficit in only a year. Jordan excels academically and has no lack of direction or ambition. He graduated as valedictorian of his high school class. He also won his schools science award. Though hes still a teenager, he serves as the vice president of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Alexander Graham Bell Association, and as a member of the Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He also created and maintains the RI AG Bell website. In addition to his academic, community service and scientific skills, Jordan is artistic and completed a 4-year certification program for the respected Rhode Island School of Design while still in high school.

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