Dear Alexander Graham Bell Community,   
 
Throughout the world, every January 1, nearly everyone reflects on their hopes and intentions for the new year. I personally have resolved to continue mentoring young adults to fulfill their potential in life. Of course, like everyone else, I hope to lose those winter pounds, exercise more regularly and read those books I've been meaning to get to. In that spirit, I would like to share AG Bell's New Year's resolutions .

Professionals enjoy the networking opportunities of Symposium
This year, we resolve to present the
AG Bell Listening and Spoken Language Symposium  in Washington, DC from June 29 to July 1 with the theme of Integrate, Innovate, Motivate: Toward Excellence in Listening and Spoken Langauge Practice. This symposium will be a rich educational opportunity for our professionals. The lineup of speakers and presentations is impressive indeed. As many of you know, our nation's capital is full of wonderful cultural institutions to visit. History abounds everywhere and, yes, there's great food, too! I very much look forward to welcoming you to the Volta Bureau, the historic home of AG Bell .

I am also happy to report that AG Bell is a co-sponsor of a symposium that will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina on April 27-29 as part of our ever-continuing international outreach. Featured speakers are Don Goldberg Ph.D., CCC-SLP/A, FAAA, LSLS Cert. AVT, Jane Madell Ph.D., CCC-A/SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT, Teri Ouellette M.S.Ed., LSLS Cert. AVEd and Sharon Sandridge, Ph.D. More about that in another column .
LOFTees pose for a picture

Continuing in the spirit of leadership that is our nation's capital, our Leadership Opportunities for Teens (LOFT) program will take place this summer close to the Volta Bureau at Georgetown University. We are very excited about this particular program, since among the goals of LOFTees is to prepare for their next step in life - attending college. Hosting the program at Georgetown, we hope to give them a real-life glimpse of what being on a college campus is like. Again, this city offers students an abundance of historic sites, museums and other cultural opportunities that will show them what results when you set your goals and work to become a leader. I would be remiss if I didn't thank Ken Levinson for championing and supporting this program for the past 20 years .
 
Speaking of college, AG Bell's College Scholarship program is now accepting applications. We look forward to reading about the wonderful leaders and scholars in our midst and sharing their stories with you. Like Evan Mercer who attends Vanderbilt University and spent last summer working in a research internship sponsored by AG Bell at Johns Hopkins University.

We understand that education begins at birth. We also understand that being a child with hearing loss brings challenges. With this in mind, we are proud to support families and reduce some of the hardships they encounter as they raise their child with listening and spoken language. I invite you to listen to this mother's story about how AG Bell made a difference in her child's life and see for yourself the impact we make together.

As I write this column in my office on the third floor of the Volta Bureau, a group of highly talented professionals in our field are sitting at Dr. Bell's work table which serves as the centerpiece of our Board Room. They have begun the process of updating the LSLS Certification Exam. I want to thank Carol Flexer Ph.D., CCC-A, LSLS Cert. AVT and Donald Goldberg Ph.D., CCC-SLP/A, FAAA, LSLS Cert. AVT for spearheading this effort. I will keep you updated on their progress throughout the year.

healthy chapters
Cynthia D'Amour leads a Healthy Chapters session at Convention
We begin the year with a new chapter initiative called the Healthy Chapters Program. A conference call for chapter leaders is scheduled for January 19 at 7:00pm EST led by nationally renowned chapter expert, Cynthia D'Amour. This innovative program is specially designed to help chapters grow in membership, support and community impact. We have a goal in 2017 to expand our number to over 40 chapters across the United States, and would welcome your involvement. In fact, I hope you will consider joining the leadership of the chapter in your state
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As we welcome the new year, I encourage you to participate in any or all of these initiatives to ensure that when next December comes around, we will have achieved our 2017 resolutions. I urge you to think about how you can support these programs. Needless to say, your financial contribution is crucial to make it possible for AG Bell to continue to serve the people who need us.

I look forward to seeing and speaking all of you at some point this year - if I don't, know that I am always available to you. Email me at info@agbell.org or call me - 202-337-5220.

Until next week,

Emilio EAM signature blue transparent
Emilio Alonso-Mendoza
 

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year .

Ralph Waldo Emerson