It is not every day you get to observe acts of pure kindness and dedication of service in today’s world. Last week, myself and Becky Isaacs founder of Aberdeen, had the privilege of observing the No Limits after-school program for deaf children.
During our visit, we were given the grand tour and introduced to sweet Jacob who explained to a very ignorant person (I’m speaking about myself here) how cochlear implants work. We also met adorable Ian, who just spoke his first word about two months ago and just turned 2 years old.
What was shocking was the staggering statistics we learned from their volunteers: Over 75% of deaf children in California graduate from High School – functionally illiterate – unable to read and write higher than the fourth-grade level; and, that over 90% of children with hearing loss are born to hearing parents. The program helps battle these statistics through advocacy, awareness and education, and implementing the following core values listed on their mission statement:
- All children should be given the tools to believe in themselves.
- All children have the potential to realize their dreams.
- All children with a hearing loss should have a variety of communication options.
- All children with a hearing loss deserve to receive a quality education equivalent to their hearing peers.
- All children with a hearing loss have the ability to become literate and educated and contribute to the community.
- An informed parent is a child’s best educator.
Honestly, there aren’t enough words that give justice to this wonderful program. It was truly inspiring and touching to see. The educators, volunteers, and staff that work with the program truly have a servant’s heart. They help these children no matter their circumstances and situation, and students who have attended No Limits three years or more are now enrolled in college and graduated from college.
When our tour came to an end, we were in awe. And, I kept on asking myself, what more can I do to help? I was even more moved when they thanked Aberdeen for the closed captioning services our company provides for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. Seriously, what a great bunch of people!
To learn more about No Limits, or to see how you can volunteer or donate to this wonderful program, please visit their website at http://www.nolimitsfordeafchildren.org/.