Teen Spotlights

Teen Spotlight: Rachel Miller

stats: 18, Senior at Alabama School for the Deaf

notable: Most Outstanding Technology Student, Alabama School for the Deaf Summer Camp Student Leader, Volleyball Team Manager

quotable: “Work hard and never let failure be an option.”

her story: At the Alabama School for the Deaf, Rachel takes part in a variety of activities, from the Robotics Team to the Academic Bowl. She manages both the varsity basketball team and the volleyball team. She excels in all that she does and has received several awards for her accomplishments, including Most Outstanding Technology Student and Straight A Honor Roll Member. When asked what advice she would give to another student who struggles with a form of disability or learning difference, Rachel replied, “I am hard of hearing, so I understand the struggles. I would tell that person whatever obstacles they face, it’s not going to be easy, but they can overcome it. Regardless of our disability, we are capable of anything and we can prove people wrong.”

what’s next: Rachel shares, “I want to have a career that involves computer science or mechanical engineering. My dad is an engineer, so he showed me some of the technical things at work and I was very fascinated. I went to Explore Your Future camp at the National Institute Technical for the Deaf and learned about computer science and technology. That sparked my interest.”

PG (parental guidance) rating: “My dad has provided the most inspiration in my life. I learned a lot from him. He had a tough life while he was in high school, but despite the obstacles and negativity he came across, he was determined and worked hard to get to where he is today.”

parents’ perspective: Eric explains, “Rachel has had severe to profound hearing loss in both ears since she was a baby. Despite all the frustration and isolation she experienced in the public school system she never gave up, she struggled to get good grades and learn the material presented. Rachel moved to the Alabama School for the Deaf mid-way through high school- she has gotten straight A’s ever since, and should have 12 college credit hours completed before graduation.”

parent-to-parent: Eric and Jhum share, “Always be your child’s biggest advocate. Always encourage them to work hard and give it their best effort.

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