Dear Alexander Graham Bell Community,
Being involved in a mission - any mission - calls on you to use your imagination, to think a little differently, and to broaden your perspective. It also makes you consider the impact you have on other people, how you ease their worries, empower them or give them the one thing they need to succeed in their goals. I've had the honor of working on great missions throughout my life, and it is always a joy for me to discover young people who embrace a mission orientation. Which is why I am very excited to introduce you to the five interns who are dedicating their summer to moving AG Bell's mission forward.
Two of our five interns commit time every week throughout the academic year to work
Nina Young
with us. Nive Senthivel is studying international affairs at The George Washington University and Nina Young, a student of international relations, is at Georgetown University. During the school year, they commute to the Volta Bureau and dedicate time developing our communications, supporting our members and donors, and lending a hand wherever it is most needed. We are looking forward to their input on our work with international partners and friends. This summer, they are both foregoing time with their families to spend time with AG Bell, and we appreciate the generosity of spirit that drives them to give their best so that children who are born deaf can learn to listen and speak.

They join a very special cadre of interns this year. Three graduates of AG Bell's Leadership Opportunities for Teens program (LOFT) are committing the ten weeks of their summer break to helping us better understand the needs of young people with hearing loss while they gain valuable skills working with others on achieving a mission. The LOFT program inspired each of these remarkable young adults to recognize their potential for leadership and empowered them to speak out on behalf of themselves and others. They are using these skills to help AG Bell improve our communications with you, strengthen our programming and events, and ensure your experience with AG Bell is professional and responsive.
Let me introduce them to you.

Julia Wells hails from Washington, DC and her family lives around the corner from the Volta Bureau. When Julia was first diagnosed with hearing loss, her parents were hard-pressed to find the services and supports they needed to navigate a totally new experience. AG Bell was there for them. Julia is attending Colgate University and majoring in psychology and women's studies with an eye towards law school. She is serious-minded and focused, and takes time to see other people's point of view. Her exposure during LOFT was life-changing, as she says: "Knowing about and meeting other people with hearing loss allowed me to know that I am not alone in my experiences with hearing loss in a society in which most people are hearing." She has already begun learning about grant funding with our Development team.

We first learned about Darius Rahmaan from his mom who applied for financial aid while he was attending Briarcrest Christian High School. Darius told us, "Being hearing impaired does not hinder me from becoming the man I want to be in my academic and personal life." Born into a military family, Darius has lived in many different places and learned to be resilient. His time at LOFT helped him expand a very positive and accepting attitude. His focus is on education as the way to become his best self, and he hopes to become an educator himself after graduating from the University of Memphis.

Autumn Puello is incredibly focused on serving others and on leadership. Autumn spent her spring break prior to graduating from high school last month volunteering with AG Bell as a community service project. What makes that remarkable is that Autumn's school was in New Mexico. She is vibrant with a wonderful sense of humor, and I'm very pleased that she will work with our communications staff before heading off to start her college education in psychology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  Autumn says of LOFT, "It was a great opportunity for me to meet others who experienced the same situations and challenges that come with being deaf and hard-of-hearing, and I was able to build life-lasting friendships in the span of a few days. I truly cherished my time in LOFT, as it has opened doors to other opportunities and people in my life."
With Julia, Autumn, Darius, and Nive
We are doubly fortunate that each of these delightful young people bring their LOFT experience about life and career skills, including advocacy, self-confidence, leadership and communication to their internship experience. I'm sure each of them will have an impact on AG Bell and how we communicate with the next generation of people with hearing loss. I can't wait to hear their stories and experiences as they work side-by-side with AG Bell staff.
You'll have the opportunity to meet Autumn, Darius and Julia, as well as Nina and Nive, at AG Bell's Listening and Spoken Language Symposium, and hear the stories of their journeys. Please join us in making them feel welcome at this year's event by reaching out and saying hello.
I also hope you will join us for A Night in Georgetown at the historic Volta Bureau and experience Georgetown's nightlife - unlike any other in the D.C. area! Only verified Symposium attendees can register for A Night in Georgetown.
The countdown has begun, and each day brings us closer to this year's symposium. I can't wait to see all of you there .
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 your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

John Quincy Adams