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President's Club scholar overcomes obstacles created by hearing challenge

September 09, 2013

President’s Club Scholar Chelsea Medbury has tackled a lot of obstacles in her life.

Medbury was left with a profound hearing impediment after injuring her head as an infant, and was one of the first children in the Midwest to receive bilateral cochlear implants in 2001. In addition to her hearing impediment, her mother struggled with an autoimmune illness causing her to tire easily and have difficulty maintaining a job.

With the expense of cochlear implants, audiology services, speech pathology, batteries and replacements for parts building up, it was difficult for Medbury to imagine how she would afford college. However, because of her determination and help from the President’s Club scholarship, Medbury is now a senior in the W. P. Carey School of Business.

­“I like being busy and maximizing my potential,” says Medbury, who is pursuing a degree in supply chain management, a minor in nonprofit management and a certificate in international business. “I want to start a nonprofit one day and become a part of its board of directors.”

This past summer she worked as a supply chain intern at ViaSat in California. She also participated in unpaid research the previous summer with the Community Action Research Experiences (CARE) in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. CARE focuses on improving the organization of a nonprofit and teaching participants to be leaders in social change. She was one of 12 accepted into the program.

She is also an active member of the ASU business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi and was on the executive board as vice president of service last spring. In that position she created annual events and helped make partnerships with Best Buddies, a nonprofit that aids in developing opportunities for those with disabilities.

She is especially grateful to the President’s Club for its inspiration and help to fund her school expenses. She uses the President’s Club scholarship for books, supplies, housing and health expenses. This allows her to focus on future career goals.

“I’ve enjoyed ... attending the events and hearing President Crow speak,” Medbury says. “It made me proud to be a Sun Devil. It is awesome to hear so many different members speak and be able to apply it toward my knowledge.”

While the President’s Club’s primary focus is transforming education by supporting ASU President Michael M. Crow through intellectual and financial resources, the group recently recommitted to supporting ASU students who embody its ideals of excellence and service.

“It was great listening to Crow speak about all the ASU initiatives. I have become a lot more informed about ASU,” Medbury says. “It is impressive to know what he has done with the university. As an alumna, I plan to be part of this club.”