In December 2019, American Girl announced the 2020 Girl of the Year, Joss Kendrick.Joss is an athlete born with hearing loss and a passion for surfing and competitive cheer.
To correctly portray Joss in the book series, experts in various fields were consulted, including
- Crystal DaSilva—Women’s Deaf Shortboard champion and winner of national and world titles
- Sara Jo Moen & Julie Peterson—Owners of Fury Athletics in Madison, WI, a training gym for competitive cheer teams
- Dr. Sharon Pajka, Ph.D.—Professor of English at Gallaudet University and a specialist in portrayals of deaf characters in adolescent literature
- Jennifer Richardson, Au.D.—Educational audiologist and founder of Hearing Milestones Foundation
- Bianca Valenti—Professional big wave surfer and co-founder of the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing
In honor of Joss, American Girl is proud to partner with Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the nation’s leading nonprofit representing people with hearing loss, with a $25,000 donation to support the organization’s education and awareness programs. American Girl is also supporting HLAA’s 2020 Walk4Hearing. Celebrating its 15th year, the Walk4Hearing brings families together across the US to encourage hearing health and living well with hearing loss. And, from January 1, 2020 through the end of the year, the company will collect donations for HLAA at americangirl.com and at American Girl stores nationwide.
To celebrate the release of Joss, Hearing Associates is pleased to announce a Facebook contest for you to possibly win a Joss doll and book of your own. The rules are simple –Like Hearing Associate’s Facebook page, Like the official post on Facebook, Share the post on Facebook publicly, and Comment with why you’d like to win the doll.
Information provided by American Girl press release.