Family members and friends have described fifth-grader Michael Goldbeck as inspirational, intelligent and a hard worker.

He also is the winner of the national Oticon Focus on People Award in the student category. Michael won $1,000 and a trip to Boston for the award ceremony.

“I enjoyed the Freedom Trail and The John Kennedy Library,” Michael said.

He said he already has put his award money in his college fund.

“I like school very much,” he said.

Michael received another $1,000 to donate to a charitable organization of his choice, which he gave to Hearts for Hearing.

“Hearts for Hearing helped me,” he said.

The fifth-grader was diagnosed with hearing loss when he was 18 months old. He received his first cochlear implant when he was 2 years old and his second when he was 8 years old.

He has been though therapy at Hearts for Hearing.

“They are responsible for where he’s at now. We’re very proud of him. He’s done a nice job of overcoming his disability,” said Sylvia Goldbeck, Michael’s mother.

Tara Savedra, Michael’s speech and language pathologist at Clegern Elementary, said she nominated him for the award.

“It was just something I had seen online,” she said. “He’s the kind of kid that every teacher wants in their classroom.”

Savedra said Michael is a straight A student and is known among the school’s administration for his skills in social studies.

The award is given to outstanding people with hearing loss who still live productive lives and give back to the community. More than 200 people were nominated and Michael was one of three first-place winners.

He specifically was recognized for speaking to Edmond Santa Fe and Memorial high schools to help raise money for Hearts for Hearing recently. The schools raised more than $150,000.

“Both times he spoke there was a ring of applause,” Savedra said.

Joanna Smith, chief executive officer for Hearts for Hearing, said they are humbled by Michael’s gesture.

“Michael works incredibly hard,” Smith said. “What’s so amazing about Michael is that he is willing to give back.”

Smith said it worked out well that Savedra, who interned at Hearts for Hearing, became Michael’s pathologist at Clegern Elementary.

“He’s really taught me a lot,” Savedra said.

“I learned that nothing is impossible when you have that kind of technology and support from family and educators.”

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