Molly Weber has been a cornerstone of the OVV family since its beginning.
Born and raised in Youngstown, Molly earned her bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in Athens, and then her master’s in speech-language pathology from the University of Akron. “It was at Akron where I learned that children who are deaf or hard of hearing can learn to listen and talk,” she recalls. “I was hooked. It was just miraculous!”
Molly’s first job out of graduate school was at Northern Voices in Minnesota. After working there for a few years, she moved back to Ohio and took a position at OVV as soon as its doors opened. When asked what inspired her to join the fledgling organization, she responds, “I knew I wanted my life’s work to be devoted to children with hearing loss, to watch these kids’ potential unfold!”
Since starting at the organization over twenty years ago, Molly has worked in seemingly every capacity to help Ohio Valley Voices grow from a small program serving just a few students to its current form. Her impressive list of titles includes listening and spoken language provider, testing coordinator, family center director, and clinic director—to name just a few.
Filling these various roles has given Molly a detailed and comprehensive knowledge of the organization. As second-in-command, she spends each day thinking big picture and small picture.
Describing her myriad responsibilities as Associate Director, Molly explains, “I oversee clinic services (including audiology, speech therapy, and testing), work alongside Maria to develop strategic long-term plans, and maintain smooth daily operations.”
Molly’s long run at Oho Valley Voices has also granted her the opportunity to form close bonds with every single one of the kids who has attended the program over the years. And she remembers them all with astonishing detail, whether it’s a current child or an alumni who graduated fifteen years ago.
Alex and Leo Haban, two of OVV’s earliest attendees, occupy an especially vivid special place in Molly’s memory. “Alex’s favorite lesson was all about the circus,” she reminisces. “We made fake tickets and rigged up a circus tent. Every year I pull out my Christmas ornament of Alex and Leo, and I think about all of their accomplishments.” (Alex and Leo are the subjects of this month’s student spotlight. You can read their story here.)
In addition to fostering the development of the kids of OVV, Molly raises three kids of her own—Layla, 16, Ellery, 13, and Nolan, 10—with the help of her husband Heath. For fun, the Weber clan enjoy reading, hiking, and going to sporting events. This summer, they’re looking forward to relaxing on the beach and boogie boarding during their family vacation on Hilton Head Island.
Molly is proud of the work she’s done for Ohio Valley Voices but recognizes that each day brings new challenges. Teaching just one child to listen and speak requires perseverance on the part of everyone involved, including, above all, the child.
“’A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to take the turn,’” Molly says, quoting Helen Keller. “We have a group of kids at OVV who work so incredibly hard to learn to do what hearing people take for granted. There are lots of ‘bends in the road’ in teaching children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and it is our job to make the turn with them to ensure they succeed.”