LOFT has taught me how to speak in public, leadership skills and self-advocacy. LOFT has changed my life and I feel that I can become a more independent person. Everything I learned in LOFT will help me in the future years. - LOFT Teen Participant
Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 15, 2016
As students from across the nation begin to take action towards their futures, the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) has begun accepting applications for its annual Leadership Opportunities for Teens (LOFT) program. This innovative program is helping deaf and hard of hearing teens who listen and talk to develop their leadership skills in building self-advocacy, teamwork, public speaking and self-confidence.
The LOFT program now supports 40 teens in two sessions on June 26 – June 30, 2016 and July 5 – July 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. Through group leadership activities, and team building exercises these teens will develop newfound skills and explore and develop untapped talents. LOFT teens use the skills they gained at LOFT to advocate for themselves in high school, college and in their workplace and to change the public perception of what it means to be deaf or hard of hearing today.
One LOFT participant said, “LOFT has taught me how to speak in public, leadership skills and self-advocacy. LOFT has changed my life and I feel that I can become a more independent person. Everything I learned in LOFT will help me in future years.” These group leadership activities, policy debate, team building exercises and the celebratory reception will help them reach their highest level of potential, explore and develop untapped talents and builds an everlasting bond with peers. Another LOFT member stated, “I gained lifelong friends, learned from the experiences of others and connected with teens like me.”
AG Bell makes LOFT financially accessible to families through the generosity of sponsors and donors. For those families who are challenged by the cost, AG Bell offers scholarships.
Catharine McNally, AG Bell board member and LOFT counselor, stresses the importance of staying current with technological trends as a way to develop spoken language and provides tips and strategies to the teens to help them tap into the benefits of technology. Watch her YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C-pgxssm3I.
“The biggest thing about the LOFT program is that these teenagers really begin to ignite their sense for advocacy and really be able to stand up for themselves and be responsive and proactive when they go home and apply it.”
Two LOFT sessions will be held in Denver, Colorado:
SESSION ONE: June 26 – June 30, 2016 (20 teens)
SESSION TWO: July 5 – July 9, 2016 (20 teens)
Applications must be received by AG Bell by March 18, 2016. For more information, visit http://agbellloft.com/application-process/.
For students that enroll in this camp, they are referred to affectionately as “LOFTees”. We encourage our students, parents and counselors to track and follow their experience on social media platforms by using the hashtag #LOFTEE. This way we can share this unique program and opportunity with others across the globe.
Founded in 1890 by Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, a noted teacher of the deaf, scientist, and inventor, the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) is the world’s oldest and largest membership organization promoting the use of listening and spoken language by children and adults who are deaf and hard of hearing.
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) helps families, health care providers and education professionals understand childhood hearing loss and the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. Through advocacy, education and financial aid, AG Bell helps to ensure that every child and adult with hearing loss has the opportunity to listen, talk and thrive. With chapters located in the United States and a network of international affiliates, AG Bell supports its mission: Advancing Listening and Spoken Language for Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Visit http://www.agbell.org.