January 17 is International Mentoring Day. It’s a time to celebrate and share the positive effects mentoring can have on people’s lives.
As a Cochlear volunteer and mentor, you know firsthand how impactful it is for people to have someone to talk to, someone to listen, and someone with them as they navigate the journey through hearing loss. On this International Mentoring Day we spoke with Cochlear volunteer Marilyn K. of Rochester, MN about what being a mentor means to her.
Why do you serve as a mentor to people going through hearing loss?
“I want to help others. Not everyone is a self-help person, some people need outside support. It can make a huge difference if you can guide someone and give them confidence.
I also believe in Cochlear, their service, their technology and the quality of their products. I want other people to know how Cochlear can help them if they have a choice.”
How do you help others?
“I serve as an online resource for people who have questions about hearing loss, implants, activation and life with improved hearing. As a volunteer it’s important for me to learn about their lifestyle and what they need. I take the time to help explore what the needs are, and how my experience could help. The Cochlear™ Baha® is very self-sufficient, but there can be a lot of questions about implant systems and what they can do.”
How do you stay involved?
“I go to local meetings of the Hearing Loss Association of America, and also attend a self-started Cochlear User Group. We’re always learning new things. For example, at our last meeting a representative from a local theatre chain came and talked to us about the technology available to help people hear at the movies. Yesterday, I went to a lecture on hearing loss put on by the Kresge Hearing Research Institute. I’m always learning something new.”
Would you encourage others to be a mentor?
“Yes, definitely. The experience is very rewarding. Everyone’s personal experience is different, so it’s good to be able to help others by sharing what we’ve learned.”
Connect with a Mentor
There are many Cochlear Implant recipients of all ages and backgrounds who are ready and waiting to connect with you and answer any questions you have. If you’re considering an implant system and want to know their experience with the surgery or activation, or want to know what life is like with an implant, reach out. You can find all of our mentors at the Cochlear Connect with a Mentor website. Happy International Mentoring Day!