By Hailey Scragg, staff writer

Zina Jawadi

Zina Jawadi was born and raised in Silicon Valley, California with hearing loss. The challenges that come with this only fueled Zina on her road to success. She is a traveler, an educator, a leader, a scholar and much more all as a college freshman at the Stanford University. Zina is a prime example of how obstacles make us stronger “Hearing loss has taught me focus, perseverance, responsibility, and agility. As a five year old, I had to continuously manage all my hearing assistive devices – hearing aids, FM system, batteries, etc., all of which are fragile, easy to lose, and uninsured.”

In high school, what started as an assignment grew into a resource for educating students with hearing loss. She created a video on how to teach these students, and this video generated positive feedback in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. It was featured on ABC News in San Jose California and Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and since then she and her parents have been sought out for advice on how to deal with hearing loss. She has also been asked to speak to different groups of parents and professionals on the topic.

Zina has grown in her advocacy for hearing loss and is the acting interim president of the HLAA California. She said the HLAA has really empowered her, connecting her with others who have hearing loss and being able to advocate, if possible, more adamantly. She is especially interested in helping younger students achieve the best possible education that they can, and have the type of opportunities she fought for.

For the moment Zina is undeclared at Stanford, keeping her options open as she explores the different topics she is interested in. She finds appeal in the sciences, especially the biological side, but on the other hand she also is attracted to humanities. She certainly is taking everything she can out of the college experience, already a member of organizations like Power2ACT for those with disabilities, the Arab Students Association, Biomedical Engineering Society, and Stanford Women in Medicine. With so much going on Zina still manages to take part in her favorite past times, biking, hiking, reading, socializing, and of course, advocating for those with disabilities.