Role models help MN deaf students explore future careers

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Students at Northern Voics,  a non-profit school for hearing impaired children in Minnesota, are given the unique opportunity to spend time with adults in the deaf community living successful professional lives. 

Northern Voices is the only non-profit in Minnesota that prepares hearing impaired toddlers to mainstream into kindergarten with children who can hear. On Friday, the students spent the day learning from role models with hearing impairments who lead successful lives. Among the professions included in the day were police officers, counselors and social workers.

“It’s really fun to see the kids notice that they have an implant like them and know that they are excited to hear about what a police officer does and what a counselor does at school and to spend time with adult role models,” Erin Loavenbruck, executive director of Northern Voices, said.

The lessons were not just for children, but for parents to.

“For us families it's hard for us to know what our kids really need and what are they going to be like and what are the questions that we as parent need to now so that we can help them,” Kelli Grogus, mother of one of the students at Northern Voices, said.  “So for these guys to take time out of their day to spend with us, it's really incredible and I think it helps in more ways than they can even know."

Loavenbruck says the growth of the children at Northern Voices is amazing. Many of them enter the school know just one or two words and by the time they're ready for kindergarten they can't stop talking.