Clayton-Bradley Academy senior John D. Cobb is now one of three finalists in Oticon's national Focus on People Awards.
Cobb's audiologist nominated him after hearing about the program.
“Apparently as soon as they learned about the program they thought of me,” Cobb said.
Since 1997 the hearing aid company has recognized "outstanding people who are helping to show that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to make a positive difference in their families, communities or the world."
Cobb lost his hearing after having a stroke as a baby.
He now has moderate to severe hearing loss, which means he uses a hearing aid and word recognition to have conversation. He said his difficulty hearing doesn't stop him from helping people.
“The fact that I have a hearing loss doesn't limit what I am able to do,” Cobb said.
A few years ago, Cobb and his best friend Alexander came up with the idea for RefugeeLikeMe, a non-profit that seeks to tell the stories of refugees everywhere.
“We started out with a partnership with Bridge Refugee Services in Knoxville," Cobb said. “Our goal once we sort of prove the viability of our platform is to make that available nationwide.”
At the end of the day, win or lose, Cobb said he just wants to give back.
“I think I’d like to create a world where people are able to see each other as individuals and as people than as statistics and categories and facts and figures and that’s been my goal with RefugeeLikeMe and that’s also my goal with Oticon leadership award.”
Voting for Oticon's Focus on People Awards doesn't end until August 24.