"The singing of birds, especially towhees' song that sounds like `drink your tea,' the ocean and crickets' chirp during summer nights."

These are just a sample of the sounds cherished by Anna Davies of Roxbury, who was recently selected as one of five students in North America to receive up to $8,000 toward her college education via Cochlear Americas' Graeme Clark Scholarship Award.

Ms. Davies is now making her way through her freshman year at Dartmouth University.

A look back at her early life would explain why such natural sounds are so appreciated by the 19-year-old.

The exact cause of her hearing loss is unknown, but her parents believe Anna lost her hearing when she fell ill to chicken pox at 8 months old.

Anna's parents decided to pursue a Nucleus Cochlear Implant for Anna after meeting a mother of another child with the technology.

They were impressed the child could hear her own mother's whisper using the cochlear implant.

Anna received her first implant at the age of

2 1/2, and her second at the age of 11.

She graduated near the top of her class at the Westover School while balancing numerous community service projects, school clubs and writing positions as an editor and columnist for local newspapers.

Anna also participated in Westover sports, as well as theatre production.

"I cannot begin to describe the ways in which the cochlear technology has impacted my life," Anna said. "Currently, I am a waitress in a noisy, popular restaurant. I graduated near the top of a very rigorous high school. I listen to the radio ..."

"Every day," she added, "there are countless ways my cochlear implants impact my life and the person I have become."

Anna has a well-rounded, full array of interests, many enhanced by her enchanced hearing ability.

At Dartmouth, she is undecided about a major but is interested in international relations, government, history and environmental studies.

Her career might take her in many directions but she hopes it would help her "meet new people, visit new places, and learn new ideas."

In the meantime, Anna enjoys photography, snowshoeing, skiing, reading, conversing with people, kayaking and swimming.

According to the committee determining the scholarship recipients, Anna impressed the selectors with her spirit, determination, academic and athletic achievements.

"It is our great honor to support these inspirational students who have overcome challenges," said Chris Smith, president of Cochlear Americas, "and shown hard work and determination while benefiting from the use of Nucleus Cochlear Implant and Baha technology."

Anna has words of wisdom for those who may want to,follow in her footsteps.

"Always take the chance," she said, "even if it seems unnerving. Always work hard and have a good attitude."

For more information about the scholarships, visit www.cochlearamericas.com/scholarship.

For more information about Cochlear Americas products, visit www.cochlearamericas.com.