From: San Francisco, CA
Nominated by: Jessie Johnson of Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California
"I got my first implant when I was two-and-a-half years old... I would've made the same decision (my parents) they made for me."
Yevgeniy recalls that his transition into mainstream schooling helped him establish his self-confidence.
"Before I started actual school, I went to a special school for people who have hearing loss and everyone there was like me: they had hearing devices. We were in our own little world, like our own family, when we were together. So, when I graduated from there to kindergarten, I was terrified because I would be one of the only students with hearing loss, if not the only student with hearing loss. But instead, my class welcomed me. That moment meant a lot to me because I saw that even though I had a different lifestyle and background than my classmates, I could still get along with them. It was then I realized that I was unique, but unique in my own special way."
"With my implants I have accomplished several things. For starters, I am at or above my grade level in my academic subjects. But, no matter where I may be, I do not stop aiming higher and putting in effort because I know that even if I miss, I'll ‘land among the stars,' (quoted from Norman Vincent Peale). Second, I am a good supervisor and role model for my siblings. Even though I'm deaf and can't always do the same things as them, I can show then that with perseverance comes great results. Finally, with my implants I can verbally communicate and learn from other people's words as well as speech. With that incredible gift, I was able to learn and practice martial arts as well as hip hop dancing and how to play the piano."
"Hearing better has affected my relationships very positively. If I hadn't gotten implants, I would have most likely learned and communicated using sign language and I would have done adequately. But... being able to speak and communicate between yourself and others is like a whole new realm of comprehension. With this ability, life can be more enriched, like a poem. Yes, somebody can interpret to me in sign language what a person is saying. But when I am able to speak and understand a verbal language with a vivid vocabulary, what that person was saying has a different meaning to me now."
"…I want to accomplish as much as someone with hearing loss can; I don't want my goals and hopes to be limited simply because I can't hear the same way other people do."
A well-rounded young man, Yevgeniy actively pursues his many interests as a:
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