For nearly six years, EarQ and the NFL Players Association’s Professional Athletes Foundation have been addressing hearing healthcare in former professional athletes and their fans. For the second consecutive year, the partnership is furthering its initiative by granting scholarships to student athletes with hearing loss. The recipients, Grace Gleba and Juan Cornejos, are determined individuals who have proven themselves athletically and academically. The partnership is proud to announce them as the 2017 scholarship recipients.
Grace recently graduated from Warren Hills Regional High School in Washington, New Jersey, where she cheered competitively. Her activism began at a young age when her family spearheaded a New Jersey law that states children under 15 will have their hearing aids covered by insurance. Today, Grace is planning to attend Pennsylvania State University in the fall for Communications Sciences and Disorders, so she can continue to help others with hearing loss.
“My parents have taught me that my hearing aids don’t define who I am. They are only a part of me,” says Grace. “Though it may be hard at times, I must never quit.”
Juan is dedicated student and a role model in his community. He graduated from Mountain Lakes High School in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, where was a record-breaking track and field athlete. In addition to succeeding athletically and academically, he volunteers in his community and tutors his deaf peers in math. Juan plans on attending Gallaudet University in the fall for Accounting.
“A hard of hearing athlete can do anything a hearing athlete can do,” says Juan. “If I can achieve success in discus against many obstacles, I know with the right effort, I can achieve a degree in accounting.”
With more resources to continue their education, these students are better equipped to thrive and become advocates and role models for young people with hearing loss. Through its partnership with the NFLPA, EarQ can continue to spread hearing health awareness and shatter stigmas surrounding hearing loss. Individuals like Grace and Juan help make this possible.