EarQ and the NFL Players Association Help The HearStrong Foundation Honor its First Champion

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 14:18:55 EST

On February 2nd, The HearStrong Foundation honored its first HearStrong Champion, Paul Szemborski Jr., during the NFL Players Association's annual Smocks & Jocks Jazz Brunch and Art Auction in New Orleans, an event that raised funds for the Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust Fund and the Terence Blanchard & Robin Burgess Endowment for Jazz Studies at the New Orleans Center of Creative Arts. The foundation, sponsored by EarQ and the NFL Players Association, recognized Paul, a 17-year-old football player from Jasper, TX, for his refusal to let hearing loss keep him from pursuing his passions.

After being told by his coaches that he could no longer be on the field because he couldn't hear the plays, Paul decided to take action and address the hearing loss he had been battling for years. Susan Bolgiano of Clear Choice Hearing Solutions helped Paul find the right devices and get back in the game.

"My first football practice with my hearing aids was like a dream come true," said Paul. "I almost cried because I was able to really communicate and interact with my teammates."

Before members of the association, special guests and members of Paul's family, Andre Collins, director of former player benefits for the NFL Players Association, and Ed Keller, CEO of The HearStrong Foundation, presented Paul with his HearStrong Champion gold medal and certificate.

Join the Newsletter


Receive word of new champions, special events, and more!



The HearStrong Foundation depends on donations large and small from people like you who are passionate about hearing loss and the individuals affected by it.

Donate »


Learn more about hearing loss, hearing aids, cochlear implants and how to live with hearing loss the HearStrong way.

Learn »


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!

Nominate »


HearStrong champions serve as a role model to empower the 80% of people with hearing loss who have yet to seek assistance and motivate them to take control of their hearing health. Find out more about each of their inspirational stories!

Champions »

Champion Resources

Are you a HearStrong Champion who is passionate about educating others about the importance of taking control of their hearing health?

Click here to access exclusive tools to support your community outreach efforts.