Dear Alexander Graham Bell Community,
What a Symposium it was! This year's event featured renowned speakers, packed sessions, highly educational learning labs, nearly 50 attendees from 12 countries, and more than 400 attendees. It was also special for its many first meetings between professionals, new faces in attendance, great camaraderie among new and old colleagues, and a fun-filled, friendly night in Georgetown, where we welcomed more than 250 guests to our historic headquarters to mingle and tour the Volta Bureau.  
I have many highlights to share with you, and so I have decided to turn the next issues of this column into a three-part series.
New people and new knowledge are vital to move forward a field, practice or an initiative, so I'd like to begin part one of this series by congratulating this year's scholarship recipients.  
Beginning in the 1940s, Doreen Pollack maintained the idea that even profoundly deaf children have enough residual hearing to be fitted with powerful hearing aids. Doreen vigorously advocated the importance of early identification and was instrumental in creating policies that require routine Newborn Hearing Screening. She was extremely passionate about educating professionals on the effectiveness of Listening and Spoken Language Therapy. As you may already know, Doreen created "acoupedics," which evolved into what we now know as Auditory-Verbal Therapy.
The Listen Foundation of Colorado created a scholarship in the name of Doreen Pollack to embody the importance of supporting new professionals seeking certification as Listening and Spoken Language Specialists in Auditory-Verbal Therapy. On behalf of the Listen Foundation, Doreen's children, Doug Pollack and Naomi Cohen, and AG Bell, I had the privilege of delivering the Doreen Pollack Scholarship award to Tatum Fritz at the second General Session. 
This year, AG Bell established the Auditory-Verbal Educator (AVEd) Scholarship to support certification of educators through the AG Bell Academy. It was created to assist one Listening and Spoken Language professional each year to fulfill the requirements to become a certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist in Auditory-Verbal Education. At the event, it was my pleasure to award this scholarship to Claire Leake. 
With Tatum Fritz, left, and Claire Leake, right.
Each of these young professionals received their awards because they demonstrated a strong commitment to the future of Listening and Spoken Language as they continue down the path towards certification. We are committed to recruiting and supporting Listening and Spoken Language professionals around the world. I encourage everyone considering certification to apply for next year's scholarships.
And so, I thank everyone who attended and presented at this year's symposium - both new and returning friends - for making it such a great success, and I look forward to bringing you more highlights next week in part two of this column. 
Until next week,
Emilio EAM signature blue transparent 
Emilio Alonso-Mendoza
Chief Executive Officer
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.

Henry Ford