Hayleigh Scott, a remarkable 11 year old girl from the U.S. has kindly written the article below for us, to share her story with us. Hayleigh runs an online business (yes, she is only 11!) from which she sells jewellery and accessories for hearing aids, all of which she and her family make by hand.
Hayleigh herself is hearing impaired, but as you’ll find out from reading her story below, she has in no way let this get in the way of what life has to offer. In fact, she’s helping people all over the world feel more comfortable with their hearing aids.
We asked Hayleigh to share her story with us because we hope it will show you (and more importantly your child) that anyone can accomplish amazing things, at any age…
Hi! I’m Hayleigh and I am 11 years old. I’m also the designer and creator of www.HayleighsCherishedCharms.com. When I was 18 months old, I was diagnosed as severe to profoundly hearing impaired. When my parents heard the news, they were really sad and tried to protect me by hiding my hearing aids behind my hair.
At age 4, I attended a school for hearing impaired children. I noticed that a lot of kids tried to hide their hearing aids behind their hair. I wanted to make my hearing aids shine and be fancy. I wanted to be proud of my hearing aids!
I started drawing pictures showing how I could make my hearing aids shine. My mom helped me make the designs into jewelry and tube twists for my hearing aids. They were so fancy. Other kids and adults started wanting them too! With the help of my mom and dad, I started my own little business…Hayleigh’s Cherished Charms. I have my own work area at my house where my sisters and I make all of our products. I even have a patent on my creations and my very own website at www.HayleighsCherishedCharms.com.
Audiologist Michele Labrie had this to say about my business “Hayleigh is one of the most inspiring and creative patients I have seen. She has embraced her hearing loss and hearing instruments in the most positive way to make herself even more beautiful than she already is. Her Cherished Charms have helped people of all ages feel more beautiful and more confident about wearing hearing devices.”
It is my goal to help hearing-impaired children and adults feel good about their hearing aids while supporting the schools and research that help us. I donate 10% of every sale to hearing impairment research and schools that dedicate their time and resources to help the hearing impaired.
In October 2010, I was awarded first place in the student category for Oticon’s National Contest, Focus on People. They recognized my business because I am determined to help others feel confident and comfortable with their hearing aids.
Peer Lauritsen, the president of Oticon, had this to say about me and my business, “Individuals like Hayleigh Scott are inspiring role models for people living with hearing loss. Through her achievements and contributions, she has shown us that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to make a difference in their families, their communities and even, the world.”
Since winning the Oticon award and opening my business, I have been interviewed for books, magazines, and been asked to speak at conferences and conventions. It amazes me how a little idea to help people feel better about themselves has blossomed into a full-scale business.
My goals are to continually make quality products at affordable prices for anyone who wants them, to continue to have very personalized service, to actively support schools and research for the hearing impaired, and to inspire the young and old to celebrate who they are!