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She grew up in a quiet suburb just north of St. Paul, Minnesota, her mother a French teacher at a local high school and her father, a professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. Jenna Nelson’s midwestern childhood was happy and fulfilling by most standards, inspired by the encouragement of her parents to pursue a college education and, more importantly, follow her dreams.
After graduating from high school, Jenna attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She tells the story of the next stage in her life, “From there, I moved to Los Angeles, where I put my degree aside to study acting, my true dream. I was doing quite well and booking jobs until my early thirties. But then I began having problems hearing. It was interfering both with the audition process and being on set.”
Jenna continues, “With a heavy heart, I left acting behind and started working in private business. That led to my current position as vice president of marketing for an accounting firm, where I’ve been for just over five years. I am also a published author, which very much suits me, because my ears are not needed. Only a good imagination is necessary!”
While successfully adjusting to her new reality, Jenna never gave up on the opportunity to hear -- at least to some degree -- again. She continued to search and research. “When you're hearing impaired, the Internet becomes your friend,” she explains. “I kept looking for effective assistive technologies and found very few. Then I discovered the Pocketalker. And, boy, did it work for me!
“What I find most interesting is that a lot of listening technology works well for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. My hearing loss is profound to severe, and I am a cochlear implant candidate. And yet, I hear incredibly well with the Pocketalker.” One well-known doctor tested Jenna using the Pocketalker frequency for speech recognition; she scored 83 percent/sentences and 95 percent/words.
“The Pocketalker helps me hear things I never thought I would hear again. I am so encouraged by this success -- and inspired. I guess the lesson in all of this is to never give up, to never stop pursuing new possibilities.”