From: Wichita, KS
David always had difficulty paying attention in school, but he didn’t realize that his inability to focus was a result of hearing loss until he got to college.
"I'm pretty sure I was born with hearing loss, but I didn't know it until I was 19," David says. "I always just assumed my right ear was superior to my left; it didn't occur to me that I could actually be hard of hearing. I was always the loud kid in class who got caught for talking, even though I thought I was whispering. As I grew older, I realized more and more that it wasn’t right how little I could hear out of my left ear. I was even asking my mom if I could try on my grandpa's hearing aid just to see if that would help."
After getting his hearing evaluated at the age of 19, David began wearing a hearing aid in his left ear.
"Since then," he reports, "I have an easier time paying attention and I do well in school. It has helped me pursue both a Law and MBA degree. It also helped me with my music life, helping me carry a tune better. After I finally heard the difference, I realized that I wasn’t truly living before."
With the help of his hearing device, David has set himself up for future success through many pre-professional experiences. He's pursuing a joint Law/MBA degree from Syracuse University, where he serves as President of the Whitman School of Management's Graduate Student Organization and a Student Ambassador for their Graduate Programs Office. He has spent his past two summers interning for Atlantic Records in New York City and the Sedgwick County Public Defender's Office in Wichita, Kansas. He also plays in a band and leads a club basketball team.
"[My hearing aid] has helped me both in the classroom and during internships to better understand and pay attention to those who are talking to me," he says. "Being able to hear has been quite the life improvement. Everyone should be able to experience life the way it was meant to be."
By hearing better, David has become a successful JD/MBA student. He loves how his hearing aid has impacted his life and wants others with hearing difficulties to know how many doors it has opened for him.
"It seems like almost every person you meet these days wears glasses or contacts," he says. "It has become such a part of the norm because [these accommodations] have always been visible and so many people [need them]. Those of us with hearing loss have a more difficult time detecting it in the first place. Then, not a lot of people even know you have it. But if you accept the fact that you have to wear some sort of hearing device, it will literally change your life in so many ways. Don't deprive yourself of not hearing the full picture."
David continues to succeed and excel in his studies, and he is a great example for others. His dedication to academic achievement led him to inspire his peers as a student speaker for Whitman’s Graduate School 2016 Convocation at Syracuse University.
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