Emma Faye is an internationally-known role model for the (D)deaf and hard-of-hearing (HOH) community and founder to nonprofit organization, Aid the Silent. Aid the Silent is a system of support for the four main programs of: deaf ministry, deaf education, deaf research and deaf resources. The overall mission is to aid economically-disadvantaged deaf children and teens to reach their full potential and to live life more richly by providing funds to receive hearing and speech resources (hearing aids, FM systems, speech therapy), ASL lessons, ministry-related activities and education enrichment programs.
Emma Faye created the campaign called #ShowYourAids to encourage the (D)deaf/HOH to be proud of who they are. The campaign went viral with 10,000s of people posting their hearing aids and implants all over the world – giving Aid the Silent a global presence.
Emma Faye was Miss San Antonio 2015 where she took individual awards for Overall Talent, Overall Interview and Miss Congeniality. She is profoundly deaf, sings and plays four instruments: piano, guitar, ukulele and the kick drum. In 2015, she placed Top 10 in the Miss Texas Scholarship Pageant 2015 where she won the Inspiration Award, Quality of Life Award, Academic Interview Award and Spirit of Texas (Congeniality). Emma Faye was again crowned Miss San Antonio 2017 being the first to hold this title twice since the first titleholder in 1923 where she won Interview, Evening Gown, Community Service, Photogenic and Spirit of Texas. In July 2017, she placed 4th runner up in the Miss Texas Pageant 2017 walking away with both the Community Service and Quality of Life awards for her work with Aid the Silent.
Emma Faye has been Fiesta Royalty for 2015 & 2017 Fiesta San Antonio and has appeared in dozens of parades and events on behalf of Fiesta. Fiesta is a citywide celebration benefiting area nonprofits.
Emma Faye was named San Antonio’s Woman of the Year in the 2018 class of 40 Under 40 honorees celebrating the city’s rising stars. She & Aid the Silent were also nominated by the San Antonio Business Journal and The Najim Family Foundation for their Corporate Philanthropy & Nonprofit Awards for Nonprofit CEO (Emma Faye) and Nonprofit of the Year (Aid the Silent) for small to midsize. In addition, her Good Vibrations Music & Arts Festival won Best of Fest for Charity Music Festival in Santa Barbara, CA presented with Jeff Bridges, Kenny Loggins, TBone Burnett and the Coen Brothers. Emma Faye was named Best of City of San Antonio 2018 by San Antonio Magazine for Best Pageant Queen for using pageants as a platform to advocate for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community and made the list of “9 Utterly Astounding Women Who’ve Shaped San Antonio” 2018 by KW San Antonio for her advocacy endeavors.
Emma Faye publicly advocated for the largest theater in San Antonio to offer captioning for their deaf/HOH patrons and won with Star Wars being the first movie played there with open captions. She advocated for deaf rights with the Texas Court Reporters Association for captioning legislation as well as hearing aid and implant insurance coverage legislation and personally met with eight Texas State Representatives and Senators on the importance of passing these two bills.
She has had over 36+ TV appearances, two of which were broadcast syndications that aired in 50 markets on hearing loss and the #ShowYourAids campaign. She was featured 50+ times in local and national print, digital publications and radio interviews nationwide. She has shared her story at 300+ speaking engagements and events. Emma Faye was the opening musician for Lysa TerKeurst, Max Lucado, Ben Rector, Penny & Sparrow and Matt Wertz.
Emma Faye, along with musician Ryan Proudfoot, co-wrote and produced the soundtrack for the documentary “Love Hears.” The video project that came from the soundtrack “Love Hears: In the Silence” went viral and has reached more than 352k, 173k views off the Aid the Silent Facebook page and was shared 1600 times.In May 2017, Emma Faye along with the Aid the Silent Team threw the first fully-encompassing (D)deaf/HOH accessible festival – Good Vibrations Music & Arts Festival – that brought together the (D)deaf/HOH and hearing worlds in a way unseen before through a series of efforts that enhanced music for festivalgoers through eight hours of live captioning, ASL Interpretation, t-coiling, vibrating backpacks and an LED dance floor that synced to the music attended by 1000s.
Today, Emma Faye travels all around the country speaking at business conventions, ministries, churches and deaf conferences sharing her story and letting others know about the programs Aid the Silent offers to the (D)deaf/hard-of-hearing community. It is because of her ability to communicate via sign language and orally that she is able to unify the Deaf community with the hearing world. Emma Faye is the primary fundraiser and spokesperson for Aid the Silent as well as a staff member for San Antonio’s pilot program Deaf Young Life.
“I lost my hearing at 3 years old to a severe-profound level of deafness. Deafness has made me who I am but it does not define me. This world without sounds has shaped and molded me to not let what people call a “disability” hold me back from any God-given abilities. We are given the power through Jesus to turn a disability into an ability. I so desperately want not only the deaf, but anyone who feels held back by their circumstances or story, to know that they can overcome. I dream for people to know that their stories are beautiful and for the deaf to become all that they were made to be. Good and beautiful things can rise from the ashes.”
–Emma Faye Rudkin