Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Very Special Announcement

I just checked the Governor of Tennessee's website (I've been checking it every day) and discovered that "the announcement" has finally been made for his recent appointments for various boards in the State of Tennessee. Go here and scroll about halfway down to the Tennessee Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. And you will see my name! This will probably be in the local newspaper here as well as several others. I also have a nice plaque and letter from Governor Bredesen.

I have known about this appointment since April but the Governor had the first rights to make the press announcement. This appointment as a citizen representative is for three years and I will travel to Nashville four times a year (all expenses paid) to sit on a council. I'm not sure of all of my responsibilities yet but I do know that I will be an advocate for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for East Tennessee.

Some of you are probably thinking that I don't need to add one more thing to my schedule. But I cannot pass up this wonderful opportunity. Now that I can hear well with two cochlear implants, this is a new chapter in my life. I know first hand what it is like to live with a hearing loss and the trials and frustrations that go along with not being able to "get the message" and miss out on so many things. I would not be where I am today without the wonderful support of my family, friends, coworkers, teachers, and other people who have been a part of my life all these years. Plus, our children are getting older and "leaving the nest," which will allow me to spend time helping others. So, I hope to be a voice for others who cannot hear and "pay it forward," like others have done for me in the past.

My first meeting is next month on August 24th. I'll give a small report on my trip to the HLAA conference in Oklahoma City. I also have been asked by the director of the Disabilities Office at the University of Tennessee to be a mentor for incoming deaf and hard of hearing students. While I'm in Nashville, I plan to spend some time with Jennifer and my Nashville relatives. It's a three hour drive from here and will be well worth it!

10 comments:

Jennifer said...

WOOOHOOO! I'm so glad you finally get to tell it!! I'm SO PROUD OF YOU!!
I can't wait to see you again...I didn't answer you about the hotels because I don't know much about the hotels, and I don't know what area you'll be in...but I have someone I can ask, if you know where you'll be! :)
Have I told you how PROUD I am of you? ;)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Laurie!!

-Joe

David P. said...

Good news Laurie!!!

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! You will be a great advocate and addition to the Council!!

-Deborah C

Tallahassee Lassie said...

YIP YIP YIPPEE! What a neat thing to be a part of!

Linda R said...

Congratulations on your appointment. I haven't talked to you in a while. Maybe we can go to lunch one day next week.

Love, Linda R

Drew's Mom said...

Very cool. Thanks for sharing (finally)...

Sam said...

You knew since April and didn't tell us!!??

Anyway, congrats! I am sure you will do a great job! Make sure you blog about the meetings!

Anonymous said...

Molly from FL I met you and Jennifer at OK HLAA conv. Wonderful to see our pic in Jennifer's blog!!!! YES I will be going to Reno. Congratulations and TN is lucky to have you on the board. I know you will speak up if you have trouble hearing them. Yes having two C Implants does make it easier. I love both of mine. Hope this comes through. My 1st attempt at this blog.

Laurie said...

Sam,

Thanks! Even though I have known about this appointment since April, I couldn't tell anyone until the Governor made the press announcement. He had the first right to do so. . . I will be sure to let you all know what happens at the meetings!