2015-16 Communicative Disorders Scholarship Recipient

Shaylynn Smith (right) was inspired to pursue audiology because of her brother Trevor (left) who has a form of dwarfism and moderate to severe hearing loss. With the help of Sertoma's scholarship, she is now pursuing her degree at Washington University.

March 2, 2017

At an early age, Shaylynn Smith discovered just how powerful and life changing the profession of audiology could be. After watching and supporting her brother’s difficult journey with hearing loss, she quickly realized that her own journey involved helping others just like him.

Smith’s younger brother, Trevor, was diagnosed with a form of dwarfism at birth. The condition ultimately caused him to experience moderate to severe hearing loss in both ears.

Throughout his life, Trevor attended a school for the Deaf and worked with audiologists regularly in therapy and rehabilitation sessions to work on his communication skills. Today, Trevor is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Tulsa and his hearing loss does not hold him back at all.

“The pediatric professionals who worked with my brother gave him an opportunity to grow, excel and become the incredible man that he is today,” Smith added. “Witnessing his amazing journey made me want to help others the same way.”

Smith is currently attending Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and is in her third year of school working on her Doctorate of Audiology degree. Her ultimate dream is to become a pediatric audiologist and work with children and families.

“My goal is to provide empathy and support to families, while giving every child the best opportunity to experience life and all of its beautiful moments,” she said. “It is a tremendous responsibility, but I am doing all that I can to prepare myself for this spectacular challenge.”

Although this opportunity was incredible, it unfortunately cut down the time that Smith could work outside of school.

She began to seek financial assistance, and discovered Sertoma’s Communicative Disorders scholarship. She is one of the Sertoma scholarship recipients for this year.

“I was so thankful to have been chosen,” Smith exclaimed. “I was able to use the money for my tuition and books. It allowed me to focus on my education more and not stress about finances.”

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