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March 25, 2015

Clarke Trustee Honored at State House as Outstanding Advocate


March 25, 2015—On Tuesday April 14, Evan Brunell, a Clarke alumnus and current member of Clarke’s Board of Trustees, will be honored by the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) for his for accomplishments as an advocate in fostering social connections for children and teens who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Brunell will receive the Outstanding Advocate award at the Commission’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Constituents’ Day, a gathering of Statewide Advisory Council members, community members, legislators, and state agency directors. The event will be held from 10:00am – noon in the Great Hall in the State House.

As a strong advocate for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, Brunell not only serves as a Clarke trustee, he also is a very dedicated volunteer for Clarke as an organization. For the last four years, he has co-led "Making Connections," a seminar for teenagers at Clarke’s Annual Mainstream Conference and for three years, served as a counselor for Clarke’s Summer Adventure program. He has been the president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for 5 years and sits on the national AG Bell Association’s Board of Directors. Brunell also regularly mentors teenagers who are deaf, and offers advice and guidance to parents and professionals around the country.

“Working with children and teenagers who are deaf is an important part of my life,” says Brunell. “When I was coming of age, I received guidance and support from my family, Clarke Schools, A.G. Bell and others who helped shape me into the successful deaf adult I am today. I value influencing the next generation of children and teenagers who are deaf or hard of hearing, and I try to be there for them in a variety of ways: teaching self-advocacy, talking through struggles that being deaf can provide, and encouraging each child to be the best person they can possibly be. The more successful deaf adults there are in society, the better educated the public will be in understanding deafness, and adults who are deaf will be more powerfully positioned to affect change.”

Brunell cites the importance that mentoring extend beyond the life a particular program. He encourages the establishment of peer support systems and maintains regular contact with several teens himself. “The key to mentorship and making a difference,” he says, “is sustained engagement, and that's what I strive for.”

“Evan has been a great asset to the deaf community in Massachusetts,” Clarke President, Bill Corwin states. “It is clear he lives the Clarke mission and is a model for the children and families we work with. He has made a true and lasting difference for many youth through his volunteer work, and this award is well deserved. We are proud of Evan as both a Clarke alumnus and as a new member of our Board of Trustees.”

For more information on the event contact .