Jody Forsythe, vice president of the Ashland Chapter EL of the philanthropic education organization PEO, announced Josie Maki of Northwestern High School is the recipient of the 2021 Community Partnership Scholarship.

Maki plans to attend Rochester Technical Institute in Rochester, New York, to pursue a degree in biomedicine science.

Josie wrote in her essay: “At a young age, I realized when someone spoke to me I would turn my head in the direction of their voice. While I could not understand why my right ear was not hearing what the left could, my body adapted to my new norm. The progression of the silence led to my diagnosis of profound hearing loss in my right ear. This became a major challenge in my life that led to many obstacles I had to learn to overcome. With the help of technology, I was able to get hearing aids to help amplify sound. I soon outgrew them, and I knew it was time for a change.”

Entering my sophomore year of high school, Maki underwent surgery for a bone anchored hearing aid implant. She said the implant gave her the ability to detect where sound is coming from and opened her mind to the medical field.

“I’ve had a passion for science ever since I was young and I’ve taken many science classes that I’ve excelled in,” Maki wrote. Among her favorite subjects were biology, anatomy and physiology.

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“Although I’m unsure about the career I would like to pursue in the medical field, I know I want to help people overcome challenges they may have,” Maki wrote.

Scholarship finalists included Abby Davidson, Ella Bauer and Kallista Mikkonen from Ashland; Skyler Ramsy and Brianna Kinnunan from Drummond; Chloe Sipsas and Taylor Nicoletti from South Shore; Greta Thiel from Bayfield; Meghan Dougherty, Molly MacGregor and Molly Krueger from Washburn; and Brianna Linderholm, Maura Lubbers and Kylie Benesch from Northwestern.

P.E.O. has grown from a membership of seven to nearly a quarter-million members in chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada, with headquarters in Des Moines. P.E.O. exists to be a source of encouragement and support for women to realize their potential in whatever worthwhile endeavor they choose.