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Shannon Williams
2024 Scholarship

Shannon lives in Cary and is graduating from Green Hope High School.


Shannon’s hearing loss journey

Since birth I have been deaf in my left ear, with moderate fluctuating hearing in my right ear. Since 2020 I’ve used a hearing aid in my right ear.

In and outside of school environments, I advocate for myself by moving closer to the front of the room or closer to the source of the sound. I often discretely let a teacher, boss or co-worker know about my situation and suggest how they might adjust their methods of communication for our mutual benefit.

“Shannon has always been proactive with regard to her hearing loss,” says B. Carl Rush, her teacher in Advance Placement Environmental Science and Honors Marine Ecology classes. “Her self-advocacy is respectful and mature. Shannon does not let her hearing loss slow her down in any way, demonstrating a persistence in her interests and an unwillingness to let hearing loss lessen any experience.”

School accomplishments

Shannon is an excellent student and is active in her school’s chorus and theater programs.

My involvement in music began in middle school band, learning percussion instruments and music theory. I eventually progressed to leading sectional rehearsals in my Advanced Treble Choir in high school. Chorus serves as a therapeutic activity for me, offering stress relief and a sense of community with diverse individuals united by love for music!

A crucial turning point in my musical success was in my sophomore year when a chorus peer encouraged me to audition for a solo in a song. I was on the fence contemplating whether I should audition. Many negative thoughts raced through my head. Participating in that audition increased my confidence and opened up more singing opportunities, such as with the Eastern Regional Choir in my junior year.

“Shannon is a true lover of music,” says Chorus teacher Allen Botwick. “Her passion is evident in her rehearsals, out-of-class preparation and musical creativity. Her hearing loss regularly impacts her communication, social and musical skills. It took Shannon a few semesters in chorus to improve her pitch accuracy. However, I find her growth since ninth grade to be quite impressive. Fighting through this challenge demonstrated Shannon’s incredible perseverance.”

Future plans

Shannon plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Although I am unsure of which specific direction in the field of music I would like to go, I am certain that in my future career I will continue to serve my community with my passion for music. I have been considering music education, with my inspiration coming from my chorus teacher, Mr. Botwick, or music therapy, which is a new career field in the music industry.

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