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Golden, Loutensock earn 9News award for project PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Jeremy Loutensock and Matt Golden of Holyoke traveled to Denver Friday, July 20 where they received a 9News “Agents of Change Award” for their leadership and work in Health Advocacy at the Alan D. Laff Scholarship and Advocacy Awards Ceremony.

They received the award for the work they have done with their Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) project to inform people about how hearing loss can be prevented. They have worked under the guidance of local audiologist Linda Jelden.

Technology has changed the world in wonderful and amazing ways, and today’s kids use electronic devices constantly. Unfortunately, the frequent use of electronic devices set with the volume set too loud presents a health hazard, and many people are not aware of the danger and how hearing loss can be prevented.

Golden and Loutensock are the first high school students to follow the educational model set by “Dangerous Decibels,” to encourage kids of all ages to protect their hearing.

9News chose to recognize Golden and Loutensock as examples of youth who are making a difference in the community to improve health.

Matt Golden, in back, and Jeremy Loutensock pose
with Viviana, during the 9News award banquet in
Denver Friday, July 20. Viviana is a mannequin with
a sound level meter in her ear to test the noise levels
in headphones.

The duo taught students in Holyoke Elementary School technology classes about how hearing works, why loud noises damage hearing and strategies to prevent hearing loss.

They modified a mannequin, Viviana, which works as a sound meter to test the volume of electronic devices such as iPods and computers to show students that volume levels on such devices can be too loud.

They also set up booths at the local health fairs to teach about hearing and allow people to test their electronic devices using Viviana’s sound meter. Golden and Loutensock created a Facebook page for Viviana about hearing conservation.

They presented an FCCLA program the past two years about hearing loss and hearing preservation, earning gold medal awards both years.

The 9News Health Board heard about sound meter testing mannequins such as Viv, and decided to build similar sound mannequins to use at their health fairs.

9News invited the duo to post about hearing loss and their experiences in teaching about health conservation on the 9News Health Blog, and then chose to recognize them with an award.

What began as a local project has expanded statewide to inform folks about how and why everyone should care for their hearing.

Loutensock is a 2012 HHS graduate and the son of Trent and Laura Loutensock. Golden will be a senior at HHS this fall and is the son of Jo Watkins.

Holyoke Enterprise July 26, 2012