Against all odds, Justin A. Osmond (who was born with a 90% hearing loss) quickly learned that persistence pays off; family support makes a difference; and nothing is impossible.
Justin graduated from Snow College in 1999, earned a Bachelor's Degree from Utah State University, and went on to earn his MBA in Marketing and Public Relations from Western Governor's University. He has dedicated his time and talents to speaking for those who cannot hear. Justin is CEO/Founder of Olive Osmond Hearing Fund, Author of the inspirational book - "Hearing with my Heart", Motivational Speaker, Founder of The Hearing Fund UK, and former Board Member and Spokesperson for Starkey Hearing Foundation outreach program which is the largest outreach program in providing hearing help to children worldwide.
Most recently, Justin ran 250 miles from Ephraim to St. George to raise awareness and to provide hearing aids for 25 children in Washington County.
What are some of your hobbies?
When I was at Snow, one of my favorite things to do in my spare time was jump on my horse ‘Roni’ and ride up into the foothills and mountains. I miss spending time with mother nature in beautiful Sanpete County. One of my hobbies… I love playing soccer and I remember playing intramural soccer at Snow and we won the championship! A great experience I’ll never forget! I remember going up above ‘Fat Jacks’ now called ‘Roys Pizza’ and going country dancing every Wednesday night. It was a great stress reliever from all my studies.
How did Snow College contribute to your accomplishments?
I used to be very shy around people and going to Snow College first before I went to USU for my bachelors and then on to WGU for my masters, was extremely helpful. I made some of the best friends in the world, and many of whom I still keep in touch with. I loved the small classes and the one-on-one interpersonal interactions with my professors. They always made time for me before and after classes to answer many of my questions that I had from not catching everything in class. They were all very accommodating towards my hearing loss and went above and beyond to ensure that I had all my questions answered.
What is your most memorable moment at Snow College?
I loved Snow soooo much! In fact, I didn’t want to leave and I talked your administration into letting me stay one more quarter (before it became a semester program) after I was there for 2 years. A memorable experience… I had a musical & academic scholarship while I attended. I played the viola in the Snow College orchestra and had many wonderful memories. One that comes to mind… I went into one of the practice rooms of the old musical building (no longer present) and the rooms were separated by heavy curtains. I remember in the room next door, there were lots of brass instruments playing and it was so loud that I couldn’t hear myself practice. So a thought comes to mind. I took my hearing aids out. That got rid of the loud brass sounds and it was nice and quiet. Then I experienced and discovered something that forever changed my life. I put my viola up next to my chin bone and started to play. I could hear every note that I played as long as I stayed in the low frequencies. From that day on, I realized that I could play the violin & viola by feeling the musical notes as the conductive vibrations would go through my bones and send the signals to my brain, which is where we truly hear & understand the sounds of life. I just smiled as I found a new remedy/solution to practicing my instruments in the midst of a loud environment. It was so neat to be able to shut out all the outside noise and be able to focus and laser in on my own musical talent and abilities. But when I get back together with the orchestra and band, I have to put my hearing aids back on.
What advice would you give to other Snow College students/alumni?
I was a hard working student, but at times when I look back, I wish I had made more time to be part of certain school clubs, service activities and committees. Going through some of those classes were very tough for me because I would miss out on what the professor taught, or I would write down the notes wrong in my notebook and as a result, I would study the wrong answers. It was frustrating to say the least, but with the help and encouragement of so many wonderful family members and friends, I was able to tackle those challenges head on and overcome them. It was during these tough times that I came up with my personal motto: “I may have a hearing loss, but that hearing loss does not have me.” So my advice to SC students and alumni… You may have a particular challenge that you are trying to overcome, and that is perfectly okay… but don’t let those challenges have you. We are in control of our own dreams and aspirations in life. Our challenges don’t define us, but just the other way around… We define our challenges and who we really are and what we become.