Help Fund Hearing Aids for 1st-gen Grad

My name is Maritza Arreola. I'm a soon-to-be graduate of Mills College with a Bachelor of Arts in Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies and a minor in Ethnic Studies, with my work generally focusing on where social justice and education intersect. This has connected with all parts of my identity - including my disability.

Though my earliest memories involved struggling to hear, I wasn't officially aware of or diagnosedwith  with moderate congenital bilateral hearing loss until I was 10 years old. I was pretty young and struggled with understanding what that meant - to be hearing impaired in both ears - until I tried on my first pair of hearing aids. It was only then that I realized how much I was missing, and only then that I realized all the extra work I was doing to hear what was going on. I had already developed a love for learning by then, but hearing aids were a gift that allowed me to truly perform to the best of my abilities.

Being in higher education has been even more empowering, as I became aware of the additional accomodations I had access to. It wasn't always perfect, but it was helpful to be in educational spaces as it was easier to advocate for myself. Now that I'm about to graduate and enter the professional world, I'm aware that not all spaces beyond will be as accomodating. My hearing aids may very well be all I have.

Growing up, I took for granted the fact that when I needed new hearing aids, I'd be able to get new ones. Even as my hearng declined - my hearing loss has gone from moderate to severe over the past 12 years - I thought I'd be able to get the more powerful onces I needed. However, because I've aged out of that holistic insurance and because the insurance I have as an adult doesn't cover that, I'm at a point where I need new hearing aids and can't afford them. 

This is why I'm asking for your help. Each hearing aid can cost up to $1500, and since I need two the total cost plus related fees (fitting, hearing test, batteries) would be between $3000 and $3,250. Anything you can give is welcome. My family and I would greatly appreciate your support, whether it be making a donation or sharing my story.

Thank you so much,
  • Katya Armistead 
    • $20 
    • 86 mos
  • Ben Genoff 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 86 mos
  • Amanda Wong 
    • $15 
    • 86 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 86 mos
  • Mark Loretan 
    • $100 
    • 86 mos
See all


Maritza Arreola 
Oakland, CA
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