Nominated by: Barbara Roe Beck Au.D., CCC-A of Hill Country ENT in New Braunfels, TX
"I recall as a child being put in the front of each classroom because I struggled to hear," said Richard. "I remember the hearing test my elementary school used to give every year where we were asked to put the head phones on and raise our hand (when we heard the bell). I never heard a bell."
After his teachers requested he have his hearing formally tested, Richard and his mother visited a specialist who determined his hearing was "sufficient for daily activities and no help was needed." Yet, Richard said he recalled struggling as he got older. "I was unable to talk on the phone, go to the movies or watch any sort of television programming without captions."
When Richard enrolled in college at the age of 24, he knew he had to confront his hearing loss once and for all. "Having no financial support at the time, living on my own and barely being able to afford to eat much less a set of hearing aids, the school councilor directed me to see The Texas Rehabilitation Commission to receive a comprehensive hearing exam. It was with their help I received my first hearing devices."
Richard said his hearing devices have changed his life. "They have allowed me to be less insecure around new beginnings and new encounters with people. My devices are essential to me being able to be who I am today."
"Once I had the ability to believe in and invest in myself, I was able to leave my restaurant management job to work for HEB Grocery Company (the largest grocery store company in Texas). My hearing devices helped me see that a future was possible. I was hired as a bakery manager and trained in their School of Retail Management program." Shortly thereafter, Richard achieved the title of Manager for the Central Texas Region.
"I believe they (my hearing devices) have given me a professional self-confidence in my management role. Not only did my devices give me the ability to hear, but they have me (a) voice as well. I don't believe anyone can measure the magnitude of how much possibility was given to me."
Richard is a HearStrong Champion because he is passionately advocates the importance of hearing health to everyone he meets.
"I truly believe that I was made differently for a reason," said Richard. "I wear my devices without vanity or shame. I know what they are, what they do and what they mean to anyone who is hearing impaired. I have been very fortunate and have received not only the gift of hearing, but the gift of life from them. It would be an honor to share that with others—especially to younger people who might be struggling or feeling a burden (because of their hearing loss)."
Learn more about hearing loss, hearing aids, cochlear implants and how to live with hearing loss the HearStrong way.
A HearStrong Champion is an individual who refuses to let their hearing loss stand in the way of living a successful, well-rounded life. If this sounds like you or someone you know nominate them today!
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