Meet Cindy McGrath! She is JTC’s first Alumni Ambassador. Her family has been a part of our Parent-Infant program and JTC’s preschool. She has been an active volunteer, engaging alumni families, helping to plan events and building relationships. Cindy is also a very talented graphic designer. She has worked on ad campaigns and promotional materials for Netflix, Sony, and Honda, just to name a few!
Here is her story:
I have been part of the JTC Family for over 20 years. My daughter Erika was born just one month after California passed a law requiring newborns to be screened for hearing loss. Erika failed her screening, but because the test and process were so new, and we had no family history of hearing loss, the nurses thought it was an error on their part. Additional doctors appointments and testing confirmed that Erika had bilateral profound hearing loss. An Audiologist at UCLA told us about JTC. At John Tracy, we learned the importance of talking in playing in the Parent-Infant Program. We sang songs, read books and cooked in the kitchen, but what was really happening is I was gaining the knowledge and support to help Erika. Her hearing aids weren’t giving her enough access to sound, so at 18 mos old she received her first cochlear implant. At age 2, she joined JTC’s Preschool. She attended individual therapy sessions and worked on listening, language and speech goals. We dedicated ourselves to learning everything we could to help Erika listen and speak by attending parent education classes and support groups. JTC helped enrich Erika’s language and listening skills and gave us the tools we needed to coach her. With these skills, Erika was able to attend mainstream schools. The intensive therapy sessions lessened as she learned to advocate for herself and acquired the skills to make her successful in school and with friends.
John Tracy Center is different from most places because the whole family is educated and supported. JTC Provided us the building blocks to help Erika become the person she is today. I realize that it was a long time ago that I was part of the JTC program, but the truth is, you never really leave JTC. JTC becomes part of your family.
I am so excited to be a JTC Ambassador, helping connect JTC Alumni and share our stories!
Cindy is located in Los Angeles, CA