For nearly 25 years HLAA has honored outstanding young adults at the annual HLAA Convention. Recipients of this award represent the future and longevity of the HLAA mission through their community engagement, betterment of the hearing loss community, and incredible achievements at such a young age. This year, HLAA is delighted to honor two deserving individuals with the Outstanding Young Adult Award. In the March 21 issue of Hearing Life e-News we recognized one of the recipients, Kierstyn “Kiki” Kuehnle of New Jersey, and here we’d like to introduce you to the other recipient: Bryan Martinez of California.
The nomination for this award came from one of Bryan’s teachers, who had nothing but admiration and accolades for her student of eight years. Theresa Copple, an itinerant teacher of students with hearing loss, regards Bryan as “the most resilient young man I have ever met.”
A car accident at the age of eight resulted in Bryan’s sudden hearing loss, the exact cause of which is unknown. But he lost much more than his hearing: Bryan’s mother died in the crash and he also experienced paralysis in his right leg. This sudden and tragic change in life path did not alter Bryan’s aspirations or spirit, and he has remained driven and passionate about his schoolwork and grades. He boasts a 3.0 GPA and is excelling in honors and AP classes.
Now in his senior year, Bryan is heavily involved in various school activities, from film to sports, and even robotics. Through his use of hearing aids and other hearing assistive technologies, an interest in technology was sparked. Each school year Bryan assists in the maintenance of the sound systems and transmitters the school system uses, and also trains teachers and staff on proper use of microphones. The HLAA2019 Convention will not be his first visit to Rochester, as Bryan has already attended presentations by the Rochester Institute of Technology and earned a scholarship from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). This young man is clearly looking at a bright future, and HLAA is excited to hear of the many great things that are sure to come from him.
Bryan will be accepting his award at the Cheers to 40 Years! HLAA Anniversary Celebration and Awards Gala on June 22. For more information about the HLAA Awards Program or anything else related to the HLAA2019 Convention – including how to register – visit hearingloss.org/programs-events/convention.