Champion - Brett Selke

Honors Student • Athlete

From: Palos Hills, IL

Nominated by: Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center in Palos Hills, IL

The Importance of Early Intervention

Brett greatly benefited from a newborn hearing screening law that came into effect shortly after he was born. When he was just six months old, he was tested and his family discovered that he had severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. He received his first pair of hearing aids from The Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center shortly thereafter.

"Brett has worked tirelessly on his speech since he was a small child, and his efforts show with his outstanding language skills," says his mother, Maureen. "I think that Brett's success in schoolwork is a great symbol of the benefits of hearing aids and assistive technology."

His Inspiration

Growing up, Brett had a hero to show him that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. His grandfather, who lived in an orphanage until the age of ten, is a Navy veteran who served in World War II. Today, Brett thinks of his grandfather and knows that he can overcome any challenges that come with his hearing loss.

Life for Brett

Brett is in his senior year of high school. He has a 3.9 GPA and was awarded membership in the National Honor Society and the National Society of High School Scholars.

In addition to his excellence in academics, Brett plays baseball and is involved in peer ministry, advocacy club, and investment club. He cannot imagine his life without his devices. They have given him the confidence to succeed in school and in his extracurricular activities.

"[My] hearing aids and FM system [have] allowed me to better communicate with friends, teammates, and teachers every day," Brett says. "It is like night and day between wearing hearing aids and not wearing them."

Why Brett is a HearStrong Champion

Brett is a HearStrong Champion because each day he proves that nothing is impossible with courage and determination. He is a great role model and hopes that his actions inspire others with hearing loss, especially children.

"I want to inspire kids like me to be the very best versions of themselves," says Brett. "My hearing loss will never define me."

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