Established in 1997, the R. Orin Cornett Scholarship Fund was created to aid qualified students who are deaf or hard of hearing to continue their education past high school. Scholarships are not based on need.
We are proud to announce that Mena Sileshi of Olney, Maryland is the winner of the $1,000 NCSA R. Orin Cornett Scholarship for 2023. She plans to attend Towson University in the fall with a major in Information Systems.
The Auditory Specialist at Rockville High School, where Mina attended, had this to say about her: “Throughout her high school years, Mena has been a leader and helper for staff and students. Courtesy of her Cued Speech transliterators, she accessed a wide variety of academic classes, including Advanced Placement courses, International Cuisine and a variety of athletic classes. Mena is a strong public speaker who believes in the benefits of Cued Speech. She reflects back on her life so far and acknowledges how Cued Speech has helped her with vocabulary all along. She attacks collegiate vocabulary by looking for root words, sounding them out then quickly identifying and memorizing these new words. Mena has come into her own, communicating effectively in all situations presented to her. As a member of the Teen Panel, Mena spoke to parents of young toddlers with hearing loss, easing the parents’ worries and concerns“.
Mena shared that her journey with Cued Speech has helped her overcome challenges with background noises and fast speech, improving communication and self-advocacy, leading to increased self-confidence. She said “Cueing specifically helped me when I was young because I had a lot of trouble with background noises and understanding people when they talk fast. So, I had friends and teachers that also did cued speech as well and that’s what helped me get to where I am today. I decided to engage with people every day and build the habit of asking them to repeat anything I’ve missed without hesitation… The more I do this, the easier it gets for me. I’ve become more comfortable with asking questions if I don’t understand something and advocating for my needs without being shy… The biggest achievement I’m proud to mention is the progress I’ve made regarding my confidence–now I know that it’s not worth hiding who I am.“
Great news! If you or someone you know will be eligible for the 2024 R. Orin Cornett Scholarship, the application will go live early next year. Don’t miss out on this opportunity, and be sure to check the link here for more details.