VACHON_JOHNYSHA

After going through grade school surrounded by classmates who can hear what is around them, senior Johnysha Vachon will attend Gallaudet University, a liberal arts school for the deaf and hard of hearing in the fall.

“It was so exciting [to being accepted],” Vachon said. “I am so thankful to all of the staff members that helped me apply and how it felt to get to that moment.”

Located in Washington D.C., Gallaudet is the only school in the world to provide a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. program entirely in American Sign Language. Around 1,700 students are currently enrolled, as of fall of 2014, with an acceptance rate of 65 percent.

“I’m deaf and I only learn in sign language, so I thought ‘why not go to a school that is deaf friendly and matches my personality?’ [I am excited] to see everyone on campus signing and to experience and learn from other deaf people,” Vachon said.

Not only is it honorable to be accepted into this university, but Vachon is the first Boone student to attend.

“I’m over the moon about her being the very first deaf student [from Boone] to be accepted [into Gallaudet],” Monica Bourret, deaf/hard of hearing teacher and interpreter, said. “Her world is just going to open up; the amount of possibilities and opportunities [from Gallaudet] are limitless.”

Vachon plans to involve herself in sports, clubs and a work-study program but has not decided on a major yet. She’s most excited about socializing with her deaf peers and dorm life.

“[Johnysha] never gives up. She comes in everyday for class with tons of questions on how to improve her life and goals. She’s inquisitive, hard working, persistent and motivated. She’s a very special young woman,” Bourret said.

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