On November 3, the College of Health and Human Services will host the 2017 Health and Human Services Hero Awards to recognize the unsung heroes in our community whose actions, thoughts and words have had a transformative impact in our region. For the rest of the month, we will be highlighting our ten honorees in our Community Heroes Series.
Name: Michelle Bronson
Occupation: Executive Director, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center of Fresno
Nominated by: Department of Social Work Education and Gerontology
Michelle Bronson has always strived to embody the social work values of service, dignity, social justice and worth of the individual, as well as the importance of human relationships, through her personal and professional endeavors. As the executive director of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center (DHHSC) of Fresno, she proudly serves as an advocate for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. It is a personal quest for Bronson, who was born with congenital hearing loss.
Although Bronson initially received her education in marriage and family therapy, her life’s work has consisted of employing interventions that has brought about positive changes in organizational, community, and policy arenas, demonstrating knowledge and skills that are hallmarks of the social work profession.
She recently was successful in advocating for systematic change that, after many years, opened up doors to job training and educational support for Deaf and Hard of Hearing community members who had struggled to lift themselves out of poverty in their efforts to achieve a better quality of life.
At DHHSC, Bronson and her team stand by their mission in ensuring that no Deaf or Hard of Hearing child or adult remains isolated because of lack of communication access. Under Bronson’s guidance, the center has been able to set up an employment services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students at local schools, create a literacy program for individuals of all ages and set up family intervention services and American Sign Language instruction sessions.
Bronson remains committed to serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community through building connections that increase access and resources. She embraces the view that her community and culture is comprised of not defective, but whole individuals, who utilize the beauty of their eyes and hands to communicate.
The 2017 Health and Human Services Hero Awards, which celebrates heroes from each of the seven departments, as well as centers and institutes within our college, will be held on November 3, 2017 at Fresno State. For more information on the event, contact Beth Wilkinson at 559.278.3603 or firstname.lastname@example.org.