Auger & Auger is proud to announce that Jacob Custer is one of the recipients of our 2017 Fall Semester Disabled Scholar Award. These scholarships are presented twice a year to high-achieving students across America who have overcome their disability and achieved excellence in both the classroom and in their community. Recipients of the award receive $1,000 to assist them with their educational expenses.
Jacob is a wonderful example of the hard work and dedication that is required to overcome life’s challenges. Born without the ability to hear sounds, Jacob received a cochlear implant for his right ear when he was 2 years old, and one for his left ear when he was 8. Being unable to hear is a significant challenge and even with the aid of cochlear implants Jacob has to utilize his fine-tuned communication skills to meet the demands of the life of a busy and goal oriented student.
Early in life, Jacob joined the Boy Scouts. Scouting requires dedication, team work and focus. Not always being able to perfectly understand what scout leaders and fellow scouts were saying certainly presented a challenge. Through his parents, Jacob learned how to advocate for himself and to not be embarrassed when he needed to ask someone to repeat themselves. Jacob did not run from this challenge, but instead he learned how to flourish under challenging circumstances.
Jacob described his experiences of learning to effectively communicate as a process that took time, effort and patience. Being bold enough to be open about his hearing impairment and to express himself has paid great dividends to this young man as he eventually received the great honor of becoming an Eagle Scout – the highest rank a Boy Scout can receive. Additionally Jacob has experienced some outstanding adventures with the Boy Scouts including camping, boating and canoeing among many other activities.
Jacob also advocates for other hearing impaired individuals. He previously participated in program that does activities for students who are deaf and hard of hearing, and he has created bonds with others that face the same difficulties he does. Jacob has found support and inspiration from many different people; especially his parents. “They’ve been there for me, and continue to push me to be better for myself,” Jacob says. “I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
Originally from Nebraska, Jacob is now a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he is studying economics and public policy. The future is bright for Jacob as he continues his studies and considers his potential career options. He has even mentioned an interest in politics which could give him plenty of opportunities to help others.