WA Ghostwriter

Capstone to help hearing impaired children

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Sneha Prasath (left) and Avni Agrawal (right) pose for a photo.

Sneha Prasath (left) and Avni Agrawal (right) pose for a photo.

Chloe Morbelli

Chloe Morbelli

Sneha Prasath (left) and Avni Agrawal (right) pose for a photo.

Chloe Morbelli, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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Each year, senior year for WA’s twelfth grade is cut short. At the start of the fourth quarter, this year April 9th, the option to go on internship or do a capstone project becomes available to seniors. Projects can range from at home experiments, to shadowing professionals in the workplace, to painting a mural on the walls of WA. Among these projects, seniors Sneha Prasath and Avni Agrawal plan on teaming up with the Decibels Foundation to leave an impact through community service.

The Decibels Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to “provide specialized early intervention, educational services, family support, and access to essential technologies for children with hearing loss”. The nonprofit helps students from infancy through high school, and was founded in 2002 by two families of children with hearing loss. Both Prasath and Agrawal have different reasons for why they connect to the organization.

“I chose this organization because I felt a connection with it. My brother has hearing problems too, and I felt that I could make a change in the lives of other kids who also have hearing problems,” Prasath said.

Agrawal has a different relationship to the Decibels Foundation.

“I hope that through the capstone experience I’m able to learn more about how non-profit organizations are run and how they function. I also hope to gain the experience of working with a supervisor and helping them meet their needs,” Agrawal said.

The two found out about the nonprofit through WA guidance and got in touch through email and over the phone. They describe the process of setting up their capstone to be simple and the two women running the organization to be accomodating.

Prasath and Agrawal will dedicate 15 hours a week to the Decibels Foundation, both taking three AP courses that they must return to WA for. Apart from going to the nonprofit’s office in Maynard, MA, the girls plan to do work offsite.

They plan to upgrade and update the organization’s social media accounts, design a new brochure, and work with the businesses in Cornerstone Plaza to collect donations, advertise, and put out word for fundraisers and the nonprofit in general. The foundation’s next fundraiser is a golf tournament in June 2018 at the Wedgewood Pines Country Club. Players can sign up through the Decibels Foundation website.

Prasath and Agrawal also will be able to meet some of the children that the Decibels Foundation supports. They will join in on the nonprofit’s playgroup each week, where toddlers with hearing disabilities come together and form their own community.

Through the capstone experience, the girls will grasp skills that will benefit them regardless of their career choices. Prasath plans to be a business major and is eager to get a head start on the marketing and personable aspects of the internship. On the other hand, Agrawal plans on going into the medical field and has a passion for helping others.

“It would feel really good to know that I’m making a difference in a kid’s life. We take hearing for granted, and some kids just don’t get that,” Prasath said.

More information on the organization can be found at http://www.decibelsfoundation.org.

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Capstone to help hearing impaired children