Emily Bloch: 2021 David Livingston White Award Recipient
Emily Pendleton, Assistant Director Of Operations And Strategic Affairs
Growing up, Emily Bloch’s family always knew that she had some difficulties with learning in school. However, it wasn’t until Emily’s senior year of high school that she and her family really understood the whole picture, as Emily was blindsided by a diagnosis of mild to moderate bilateral hearing loss. This was a huge blow to Emily and her self-esteem and required her to wear hearing aids all the time. On top of that, she was still struggling to understand how this could have gone undiagnosed for almost 18 years of her life.
While not knowing how to adapt in her last year of high school, Emily really became self-conscious and unsure of what her future held. Many teachers and support systems had failed her up to that point and she didn’t know who to trust.
When Emily arrived at the SALT Center, she defensively put up barriers which prevented others from being able to assist her with academics or lead her to success. Seeing that her past had set her up for these roadblocks, I really worked with her, as her Support Specialist, to tear down those walls and give her a glimpse of someone who cared and wanted to lead her down the right road.
Even though the odds were against Emily and she could have given up, she did not quit. Emily pushed herself harder and learned to accept her differences. She was not going to become a statistic but someone who could change things.
By the time Emily reached her mid-point in college, she had decided that her goal in life was to help children with hearing impairments who might not otherwise have access to testing and support. Emily changed her major and recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Rehabilitation Studies and Services. This fall, Emily is starting at Ohio University to become a Doctor of Clinical Audiology.
In recognition of Emily’s accomplishments, she is the recipient of the 2021 David Livingston White class ring. This annual award is given to a graduating student who has overcome obstacles during their educational journey and shown perseverance, determination, involvement, problem solving, resourcefulness, and independence.
When Emily learned that she would be receiving the David Livingston White class ring award, she was speechless. She cried. She cried the tears of her struggles, and of overcoming the odds, and for being recognized as the student she always knew she could be.
What has kept Emily persevering towards the finish line is having just that one person to lead her and allow her to succeed. She credits her learning to the many techniques and strategies she gained while at the SALT Center. Those are the strategies and techniques that will carry her through the next chapters of her education and life. Emily really wants everyone to know that your, “Differences are very unique, and they make you stand apart rather than being a strange difference towards the rest of your peers.”