When Cal State Fullerton finance grad Jason Szolomayer ’02 taught English in the Middle Eastern kingdom of Jordan, he volunteered at the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf and Blind, where he witnessed firsthand the challenges of providing aid to the hearing impaired. It was there that he began developing the vision for his hearing aid initiative.
Szolomayer is the founder of 3dp4me, a nonprofit dedicated to providing hearing aid solutions to the world’s underprivileged through 3-D printing. Working with his partner, Brother Andrew de Carpentier, chair of World Wide Hearing, the CSUF grad’s first project is providing ear molds for hearing aids to Middle East refugees and low-income residents in Jordan.
“We started in Jordan because this is where I live and serve, and I have grown to love these people,” says Szolomayer. “The war in Syria still rages just over an hour from our home, and our own neighborhood is filled with Syrian and Iraqi refugees. There are an incredible number of war injuries and not enough aid to help with the needs.”
While initially focusing on Middle East populations, Szolomayer hopes his concept will be replicated in other global regions. The social entrepreneur acknowleges launching the 3dp4me concept has been hard work, but it’s worth fighting for. As he puts it, “I always keep at the forefront of my mind those who will benefit with the gift of hearing.”