Aug 16, 2016

Columbia State Student Takes Platform To National Level

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Aug. 15, 2016) - - - Emma Conn, Columbia State dual enrollment student, is not only a 16-year-old taking high school and college courses, she is Miss Junior Teen Tennessee, and recently placed 2nd runner-up in the Miss Junior Teen United States Pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Conn's platform for the pageant, Hearing Matters, is something to which she has a personal connection. Conn has sensorineural hearing loss, which is hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear or to the nerve from the ear to the brain.

Conn described herself as school-oriented and explained that although she could hear a lot of what was being said in class, she knew there were things missing. Conn explained that her grades in school have often suffered because of her hearing loss.

"Hearing Matters helps advocate for children in the classroom," Conn said. "I don't want another kid to have to go through what I went through because of my hearing loss."

Recently, Conn received her first pair of hearing aids sponsored by her audiologist. Conn is now a brand ambassador for Oticon Hearing Company.

"When that opportunity came I understood how much kids need hearing aids," Conn said. "Not many can afford [hearing aids] so for me it's knowing the need and knowing how special having hearing aids really is."

Conn explained that being a national ambassador will help her take her platform to the next level and provide more exposure for Hearing Matters.

"You know this is just the first step - talking to the media and getting the word out. I want to advocate for [these students] and talk to school boards around the country and explain the need."

In addition to advocating for Hearing Matters, Conn donates her time to Big Brothers Big Sisters as well as Alzheimer's Awareness.

Conn will be graduating early from Page High School in 2017 with dual enrollment credit from Columbia State. Upon graduation, she will be applying for admission to Vanderbilt, Northwestern and the University of Tennessee - Knoxville.

Conn, a Houston, TX native, currently resides with her family in Arrington, TN.

Hearing Matters is a campaign through World Wide Hearing, a non-profit organization that provides access to affordable hearing aids to youth in developing countries and underserved communities.

To learn more about Hearing Matters, visit

Emma Conn
Photo Caption:
Emma Conn, Columbia State dual enrollment student and Miss Junior Teen Tennessee.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online

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