University: Western Washington University

Major(s): Biology

Desired Career: Some sort of helping profession and/or social activism

Hobbies: Badminton, running, singing, and dancing

Favorite Things to Hear: Music, rain, wind, and laughter

Words of Wisdom: “Take advantage of every day.”

Johanna’s hearing loss wasn’t diagnosed until kindergarten, but she said in hindsight it was clear from her behavior that she had difficulty hearing long before that time. She believes her hearing loss may have been the result of an ear infection when she was 15 months old.

Johanna said that before her hearing loss was diagnosed, she was frequently accused of not paying attention or of being uncooperative.

“Even after my hearing loss was discovered this persisted because my teachers and other people didn’t understand about hearing loss,” she said.

She said she decided to get the Baha System during her junior year of high school, and she has noticed a significant difference in sound quality with her device.

“The Baha has changed my life,” Johanna said. “I can now hear things that I would have normally missed before. … When I don’t wear it, I can tell I’m missing vital information around me, so I wear it almost all the time. It helps me in school, social situations and in everyday life. I wear my device proudly. My Baha has made a huge impact on my having access to things that many others might take for granted. I can now capture much more of a range of sound around me, and I miss so much less than I did before.”

Johanna plans to pursue a career in the medical field, and she is also interested in social justice and activism. She said she would love to travel around the world helping girls in developing countries.

“If I could meet myself ten years ago, I would tell myself that it is okay to be a little weird sometimes because everyone has some weird in them. I would also say that you don’t have to be the best, you just have to do your best.”

To learn more or apply for a Cochlear scholarship, visit www.Cochlear.com/US/Scholarship.

Skylar Mason
As a journalism student, Baha recipient, and Anders Tjellström Scholarship winner, Skylar is excited to join the team at Cochlear as an intern to tell the stories of other CI and Baha recipients! She attends the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.