Susan (real name withheld by request) was born with a profound hearing loss, but aided by a supportive family network, she learned to sign dexterously and has developed fine oral skills; her speech is completely intelligible.
Fully mainstreamed through elementary and high school, she's been an exceptional student while competing with normal hearing individuals. Her marking-period grades--for attendance, work ethic and exams--are all A or A-. Susan finishes any task put before her with pride, never allowing her hearing impairment to stand in her way; she treats it as a mild nuisance. Conscientious and caring, she's a role model for fellow students.
To help defray educational expenses, she works part-time outside school, where she catches on quickly to new challenges and interacts exceptionally well with customers and other employees. Letters of recommendation from counselors and an employer make it clear that Susan is mature, bright and energetic.
She wants to become a registered nurse, and studied Medical Careers Technology in high school. When she applied to college, however, she was told that she couldn't enter the nursing program because of her hearing impairment. Susan refused to give up; she knew she could handle the job, and with a new cochlear implant and a hearing aid, proved she could hear IV buzzers, patient calls, and ringing telephones. Furthermore she communicated well with patients, even in a noisy environment. As a result, she was accepted into the nursing program.
Susan is the very first of her family to attend college. With the help of our generous contributors, we're happy to have played a part in making that venture possible.