HEAR THE NEED PARTNERS WITH HELP AMERICA HEAR TO AWARD HEARING AIDS TO SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS.
Help America Hear Awards Largest Scholarships to Date
Hear the Need Supports Scholarship. July 30, 2021
Enhancing the quality of life for men, women and children with hearing impairments is the mission of Help America Hear. The New York-based nonprofit, which began in 2009 as the Foundation for Sight and Sound, shifted in 2019 to their now sole focus.
The organization specializes in offering and fitting new, high-quality hearing aids nationwide to those with limited financial resources. “When we can improve the quality of life for young adults, especially those who are hard of hearing, who sometimes have more of a challenge than someone without hearing loss, it’s instant gratification to know that we have somehow put a little spark into their future endeavors,” said Mitch Shapiro, Help America Hear Founder. As a complement to its flagship program, Help America Hear has offered a scholarship program since 2011, awarding one top prize of $1,000 and new hearing aids with fitting to a deserving high school senior. This year however, thanks to a partnership with the newly formed California-based nonprofit, Hear the Need, it has increased the prize pool to its largest yet. This year’s scholarship program consisted of a nationwide essay contest, where the top five winners received $2,00 each as well as a pair of top-of-the-line hearing aids with fittings. Up to five additional students also received new aids with fittings. “Partnerships allow us to expand on our reach in providing scholarship dollars and providing more hearing aids. When someone gives us a monetary grant from an organization, foundation or individual, it allows us to give more and higher-value scholarships to the community,” Shapiro said. “It’s so critical to have kids hear effectively and develop language and social skills. Help America Hear been established for a while, they do fittings properly, also have well established system for identifying people in those gaps that can’t afford aids or coverage, and we’re so thrilled to team up with them and donate to their program,” said Loren Lunsford, Hear the Need Co-founder. This is the first official partnership for Hear the Need, which provides hearing aids to organizations invested in assisting the hearing-impaired community. This year’s essay contest participants were asked to answer several topical questions relating to their hearing loss, the use of aids in their education and their future goals. After more than a month of thorough review from a panel of judges, winners were selected from California, South Carolina, North Carolina, Missouri and Pennsylvania.