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Our Stories

Madeline

Our Stories

Madeline’s diagnosis of moderately severe to profound hearing loss in both ears at the age of 18 months changed her family forever. It instilled a commitment to see “the beauty in the journey” as her siblings and parents became active voices for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

At one year old, Madeline was fitted with bilateral hearing aids. Her family recalls seeing her face come alive with expression as she comprehended sound for the first time.

Madeline enrolled in Clarke’s toddler programming where she began to learn to listen and talk. Clarke continued to support Madeline years later as she transitioned to a mainstream school.

In fourth grade, Madeline was voted a student council representative and stood in front of her peers and said, “I want to help [my school] the way [my school] has helped me. I’m a leader and a listener.” Her family was proud of this achievement and shared, “The part where she could stand in front of a mainstream classroom, have the confidence to give a speech and be 100% intelligible to typical hearing 9- and 10-year-olds is the miracle, the milestone.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Madeline was in the physical classroom for her fifth-grade year and, according to her mother Melissa, “handled the challenges of the pandemic with grace and grit.” Madeline’s family reports that she ended her academic year with a 93 average and academic honors in two of the three trimesters. She was also one of two fifth-graders awarded a three-year scholarship. In 2024, Madeline received the 2024 Youth Virtue, Valor, and Vision Award from the National Catholic Educational Association, which recognizes students in elementary and secondary schools “who through selfless service, determination, innovation and ideals are changing the world while bearing witness to their Catholic faith.”

Melissa shared these kind words with the Clarke team, “I wanted to reach out because this success is not hers alone. The support from Clarke has allowed her to become her best self in a hearing world. Thank you for instilling in her the confidence to advocate, follow her dreams and celebrate victories along the way, from the tender age of 18 months. She has always seen her life as without limits, and that is because of loving professionals who have shown her the possibilities, since she was a baby.”

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Please contact any of our locations to learn more about Clarke’s broad array of programs and services.