Cochlear, the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, announced today the winners of the 2010 Graeme Clark Cochlear Scholarship. Presented by Cochlear Americas, the Graeme Clark Cochlear Scholarship is awarded to five high school seniors who've demonstrated exceptional achievements both in the classroom and their communities. All recipients have a Nucleus® cochlear implant and will receive financial assistance toward their chosen university for up to a total of four years.
"Cochlear Americas is proud to sponsor an initiative that encourages academic success among Nucleus recipients, providing a solid foundation for future professional and personal achievements," said Chris Smith, president, Cochlear Americas. "The five winners of this year's Graeme Clark Cochlear Scholarship, along with all of the applicants we considered, are examples of what young adults with a significant hearing impairment can achieve when given the opportunity and support to do so."
The five scholarship winners are:
Caroline Cook (Toronto, ON): Enrolled at York University, Caroline achieved honor roll status all four years of high school and is a dedicated athlete in the sport of sprint canoeing and kayaking. Some of her most memorable "firsts" after receiving a cochlear implant included hearing the starting pistol when competing in kayak races and the sound of herself playing the piano.
Rahul Rajagopalan (Ellicott City, MD): Currently attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rahul credits his cochlear implant with helping him to function independently and socialize fully with peers. In high school, he had the honor of presenting findings from a global warming project to his state senator's office in Washington, DC. Rahul is honored to receive the Graeme Clark Cochlear Scholarship and says it inspires him to be a role model for others who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Nathan Sarapas (Hampstead, NH): Now studying civil engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Nathan has overcome many obstacles, particularly in the academic setting, since being diagnosed with severe progressive hearing loss as a toddler. With the help of a cochlear implant, Nathan excelled in his studies and contributed to his community through participation in the Boy Scouts of America. In 2009, Nathan graduated in the top four percent of his class of nearly 700 students.
Jake Spinowitz (Woodbury, NY): A student at the University of Pennsylvania, Jake used hearing aids all of his life until the ninth grade when his hearing regressed to the point of deafness and he opted to get a cochlear implant. Jake has since taught himself how to play guitar and started a community program where he collected hearing aids for donation to those who couldn't afford them.
Matthew Wolff (Ardsley, NY): A TV and film major at Northwestern University, Matt has not let his hearing loss hold him back. Having received a cochlear implant at the age of three, Matt has conquered the art of communication and has been active in helping others with hearing loss, particularly through his involvement with the Hearing Loss Association of America.
Cochlear Americas is honoring the outstanding scholarship winners during Better Hearing & Speech Month to highlight the personal and academic achievements of young adults who've benefited from cochlear implants and to raise awareness of the advanced technologies available that may help improve the quality of life for people living with severe to profound hearing loss.