Robert D.

$1,000 Technology Scholarship Award Winner

I was born profoundly deaf but I still hope to thrive in the hearing world, and technology has been tremendously helpful to me in communication. I wear a cochlear implant that enables a weak simulation of hearing ability, but I dream of achieving a degree in computer science and designing a better version of the cochlear implant that can truly make the deaf hear at all frequencies. Deaf people use technology daily; real-time captioning, video phones, and text programs are an asset to their ability to succeed in the “hearing” world. However, all of these technologies and many others can be improved like the cochlear implant, which is why I wish to pursue a career in technology.


In my eighth grade business technology class, my teacher would instant message her students to check on their progress and this was especially useful for me. However, this technology was only available at the middle school I attended, and I never used it in high school. I want to encourage this method of communication in classes and workplaces so that hearing-impaired people do not suffer from missing out on certain instructions, an issue I have experienced frequently in my high school career.

I am currently excelling in computer architecture design and computer graphics design classes at my high school and have been accepted to Rochester Institute of Technology's computer science program. I was able to secure a job as a production assistant at a photography company the summer before my junior year because I am highly meticulous. I meddle endlessly with even the most minor colors and variables in everything I do: PowerPoints, my Mediterranean-themed house for an architecture contest, and my work in Computer Graphics class. Even though my perfectionist work ethic consumes exorbitant amounts of time, I can always be very proud of the end result. Likewise, I want to improve and implement many of the technologies that help hearing-impaired people in the “hearing” world.


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