NextSense recognises and celebrates the achievements of students who accessed NextSense School Support in their final year of school—and achieved remarkable results in their Higher School Certificate (HSC). Prizes are awarded at our Annual General Meeting (AGM). For the 2020 academic year, Lauren was:
- Winner of the ClearaSound Prize, awarded to a student supported by NextSense School Support (hearing) who has achieved an outstanding performance in the HSC.
- Winner of the Garfield & Norma Barwick Medal, awarded to a student assisted by our School Support service who achieved the most outstanding performance in the HSC.
Attending Abbotsleigh School in Sydney’s upper north shore, Lauren has been supported by NextSense since year five, much of that time with NextSense School Support Teacher, Sue. And in 2020 she graduated, achieving an ATAR of nearly 90.
‘Despite facing many challenges during her schooling years Lauren has grown into a strong independent young woman. Watching her blossom during this period was a rewarding experience,’ Sue said.
Lauren has profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and as a result, has bilateral cochlear implants (in both ears) to give her better access to sound. With a passion for drama and performing, she took part in several musicals and performances at school.
Her biggest test came in her final years of school, when she underwent multiple surgeries on her spine. The associated impact—recovering from surgery, missing a term of school, and having to adjust to her new cochlear implants which needed to be removed to have the back surgery—was challenging. But she took it in her stride, caught up and even went on a six-week international student exchange.
Her heart was always set not only on completing the HSC—but excelling. ‘My experience with hearing loss taught me that with enough perseverance, support and determination, success is always possible.’ Lauren said.
Sue said, ‘Her efforts and her determination to not allow her hearing loss hold her back from any challenge is inspirational.’
Lauren’s studying a Science and Advanced Studies degree at the University of Sydney. And her wish? To make a positive contribution to building a sustainable world.
Our thanks to ClearaSound and the Barwick family for their ongoing commitment and support.
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Find out more about NextSense School Support for children who deaf or hard of hearing.