Champion - KT Maviglia

Miss Michigan 2014 • Founder of KT Maviglia Fund for Hearing

From: Dundee, MI

Challenges in School

KT wasn’t diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss until she was 9 years old. Before that, having an untreated hearing loss made it difficult to keep up in school.

“Imagine being a young girl trying to keep up with your peers socially and academically, but unknowingly you are only getting part of the message your peers were getting in the classroom,” she says. “My parents recognized that I had to work harder than my classmates to reach the same milestones. They looked for answers but were told that their expectations for me were not aligned with my abilities. Testing revealed I was only hearing a portion of what was happening in the classroom.”

Overcoming Obstacles

Before her diagnosis, KT remembers being shy and introverted and always feeling like she was a step behind her peers. After her diagnosis, she wore hearing aids all through middle school, but soon set them aside.

“When I got to high school, I decided to boycott my hearing aids because I no longer wanted to be ‘different’ than my classmates,” she remembers. But that feeling didn’t last long. “Once in college, I realized that I was only hurting myself and eventually did what was best for me and began wearing my hearing aids again.”

Since then, KT has graduated from the University of Michigan with honors. This accomplishment is especially important to her, since her parents had once been told that their academic expectations were above her abilities.

Impacting the World

In 2014, KT was crowned Miss Michigan. She is also the founder of a nonprofit called the KT Maviglia Fund for Hearing. This fundraising organization provides financial assistance to children for the purchase of hearing devices that are not covered by insurance policies.

Passionate about insurance reform, she co-authored a legislative bill that intends to mandate minimal insurance coverage of hearing devices for children in the state of Michigan. She also volunteers for the Lions Club International as well as the Special Olympics, and she is a member of both the Hearing Loss Association of America and the Wolverine Human Services Fresh Era Board.

Why KT is a HearStrong Champion

KT has overcome hearing loss and accomplished a great deal, including:

  • Graduating with honors from the University of Michigan
  • Founder of the KT Maviglia Fund for Hearing
  • Co-author of a legislative bill to increase insurance coverage of hearing devices for children
  • Miss Michigan 2014

KT has some advice for people with hearing loss who are unsure about seeking assistance: “...Take action and always remember to focus on your ABILITIES!”

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