Leadership Opportunities for Teens (LOFT)
LOFT is for high school students who are deaf and hard of hearing and use listening and spoken language and their primary mode of communication. This four-day sleep-away program is designed for participants to develop or strengthen skills in individual leadership, teamwork, group dynamics, public speaking, and self-advocacy. The program provides a supportive and structured environment in which participants increase their self-confidence and understanding of their own strengths and abilities through activities designed to challenge them. LOFT builds connections, respect and camaraderie among teens who share a common bond. This is a great opportunity for high school and college-bound teens interested in an enlightening and confidence-building experience away from home with their peers.
Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided during classroom sessions. LOFT counselors are AG Bell members who are adults living with hearing loss. LOFT is designed for high school students with hearing loss. Click here for a printable information sheet about LOFT.
In order to be eligible for this program, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Listening and spoken language must be the teen’s primary mode of communication.
- At the time of submitting the application, the teen must be in high school.
- The teen must have a pre-lingual bilateral hearing loss in the mild to profound range or a pre-lingual unilateral hearing loss in the moderate to profound range.
A recent unaided audiogram will be required as part of the application.
|Degree of Hearing Loss
||Hearing Loss range
||41 to 55 dB
||56 to 70 dB
||71 to 90 dB
Location & Dates
Two sessions of LOFT are being planned; each session can accommodate 20 teens. Holding both sessions is dependent upon the number of applications and funding.
Session 1: July 26-30, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia (Washington DC area)
Session 2: August 1-5, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia (Washington DC area)
$875 per participant. This covers lodging, meals, snacks, activity fees and ground transportation from arrival to departure. The cost of travel to and from the program is the responsibility of the family.
For families who may need financial assistance, a scholarship application is available below.
Application & Deadline
2015 LOFT Application – PDF (print and complete by hand)
2015 LOFT Application – Writable PDF (open and complete on computer, then save, print and sign)
2015 LOFT Scholarship Application – PDF (print and complete by hand)
2015 LOFT Scholarship Application – Writable PDF (open and complete on computer, then save, print and sign)
Applications must be received by AG Bell by March 5, 2015. We are strict about the deadline. You can submit your application in one of two ways:
- Scan the complete application with all required attachments into one PDF document and email to: Wendy Will at firstname.lastname@example.org (this is the preferred form for application submission).
- Or, you may mail the application to: Wendy Will – LOFT 2015
8745 Gary Burns Drive, Suite 160-504
Frisco, TX 75034
Scholarship applications may be sent together with the program application or separately, as long as both are received by the deadline of March 5, 2015.
Due to the popularity of this program, more applications are often received than can be accommodated in a given year; submission of an application is not a guarantee for program participation. Applicants will be notified via email on March 31, 2015 whether or not they have been selected for LOFT 2015. Applicants who are not selected for this year’s program are strongly encouraged to apply in future years.
Do you have questions?
Please send an email to Wendy Will, youth and family programs manager, with any questions you have about the program or the application.
To Learn More
These articles will help you to learn more about the LOFT program and its impact.
LOFT 2011: Changing Lives, One Teen at a Time (pdf)
LOFTees: Where are They Now? (pdf)
Ken Levinson: The LOFT Counselor Perspective