Danny Stratis

One of the highlights of the annual Child’s Voice Autumn Gala, set this year for October 26 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, is hearing from Child’s Voice alumni.

This year, Danny Stratis, Class of 2011, and Abby Lewis, Class of 2014, will tell the attendees what Child’s Voice has meant to them and what they have been up to since graduating.

Danny checked in with Child’s Voice to talk about his memories of his time there and how his experiences shaped him.

“I have a lot of really fun memories of Child’s Voice,” Danny says. “I loved all of my teachers and playing group games with my friends and teachers.”

One of the strengths of the Child’s Voice program is that audiology services are in the same building as the Early Intervention and School Programs, so students don’t have to miss much class time if their implants or hearing aids need adjusting. Danny remembers the importance of being able to go down the hall so the audiologist could check his implant.

But in other ways, Child’s Voice is like any other preschool. In fact, Danny says, “some of my favorite memories are playing outside in the playground with all of my friends.”

“Child’s Voice taught me how to be able to hear and speak fluently and have engaging conversations,” he says. “Child’s Voice also gave me the confidence to speak up for myself and not let my hearing loss stop me from achieving my goals.”

At the gala, audiences especially love hearing about student successes – what they have accomplished and what they are interested in as well as their hopes and dreams.

“I enjoy all sports but I especially love soccer which I have been playing for 8 years,” Danny says. In fact, his career plans reflect both his love of sports and how Child’s Voice can change the life of a child with hearing loss.

“I plan to become a ESPN sports announcer,” he says.