BREAKING NEWS!!! 2020 CDH International Scholarship Winner!
It was very hard to select a winner this year as we had some really great applicants, but the final decision is in:
We would like to congratulate our 2020 CDH International Scholarship winner, Serena Rush!
From a letter of recommendation, a family friend stated Serena “began her life with a life-threatening medical condition and later faced the challenges that deaf children encounter in a hearing world. However, anyone meeting Serena today would not find someone daunted by these challenges, but rather a competent, caring hard-working young woman with preeminent leadership qualities.” He goes on to add, “Serena always inspires those around her to do their best.” Serena’s math teacher describes her as extremely brilliant and goes on to say Serena always challenges herself academically.
Serena has overcome medical hurdles throughout her life. She spent four months in the NICU battling CDH. At 18 months old, Serena was identified as being genetically deaf. Serena wrote in her essay “with a cochlear implant, I learned to be bilingual and bicultural, spending many of my school years as a mainstreamed student in hearing schools with interpreters.” 16 years after she was born, she started having medical complications and ended up going to the ER four times before she was admitted into the hospital. She was diagnosed with a kidney infection, kidney stones, appendicitis, intestinal blockage and a reherniation. Through it all, Serena continued to overcome her hurdles. It was this moment in time that she found her home in the deaf community where she could be herself and have full access to communication. Serena’s new deaf high school she was attending had sent a van of students and staff to visit her in the ICU and she describes as “one of the worst days in terms of pain” also helped her experience true friendship.
Serena is a CDH survivor who graduated this past May 2020 as Valedictorian of her class. She graduated form Model Secondary School for The Deaf. She has earned high honors throughout her high school career and is majoring in Psychology. After completion of her undergraduate studies, Serena plans to get a degree in Elementary Education. From her essay, she says, “her dream is to teach deaf children with special needs. My goal is to improve the lives of deaf and hard of hearing students and their families through education, language access and empowerment.”
We are very proud to help contribute to Serena’s success in college. Serena has won a one-time $500 grant to help with her college education.
Congratulations, Serena!!! From all of us at CDH International, follow your dreams and reach for the stars!