Published On: Thu, Mar 16th, 2023

Deaf Lynn University Student Wins First Vocational Scholarship from Cochlear For Academic Excellence, Athletic Achievements, and Medical Device Advocacy

Franco Di Paolo – Individual Achievements_Director of Athletics Leadership Award

Boca Raton, FL – Deaf Lynn University student, Franco Di Paolo was just awarded the very first Cochlear Americas Vocational Scholarship for his academic excellence, athletic achievements, advocacy projects, as well as his leadership within the hearing loss community. Franco was named the sole winner of Cochlear’s first Vocational Scholarship for scholars attending technical, vocational or trade schools, out of a pool of 167 applicants.

Franco received his first cochlear implant at 2 years old, which he describes as “lifechanging”. After his implant, he was able to hear dogs barking, birds chirping and the sound of his mother’s voice. Growing up, Franco learned how to advocate for himself academically and athletically. Because of his perseverance, Franco thrived on his high school’s basketball, tennis, volleyball and cross country teams and eventually graduated Summa Cum Laude at the top of his class!

In 2017, Franco faced a difficult challenge when Hurricane Irma hit his home. Like many others, Franco lost power for weeks. While he and his family had emergency supplies, they failed to consider how they would charge his cochlear implant and was left temporarily unable to hear. This experience made him realize that people who depend on battery-powered medical devices have no protection under the law during times of need. Franco is now determined to be an advocate for the millions of people who are affected by similar situations. In fact, he is working on a project to pass a bill in the state of Florida that will mandate solar panel installation on condominium buildings for the exclusive use of medical devices during power outages that will save lives.

Currently, Franco is a student at Boca Raton-based Lynn University where he is studying Entrepreneurship and hopes to prepare for the next phase of his life.

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