Denise Jordaon

Since graduating high school in 1988, I dreamed of furthering my education by going to college and pursuing a career of my choice. Instead I married, had children, divorced, and became a single mother. My personal dreams faded in exchange for creating a life built around others' needs. As it looked like the window of opportunity would open up, there was another significant detour; one which many might use as an excuse rather than a motivator. In 2008, I was diagnosed with cancer, which resulted in numerous surgeries and extreme medical care for three years. I refused to let it take my joy, my optimism, or my faith; rather it drove me to determine the purpose that is truly in my heart. My outlook on life changed from existing in life to finding a purpose in life. My purpose clear; it is to serve and help others.

Since learning that Wilson Community College offers an Associate Degree in American Sign Language Interpreting, I have had a burning desire to use that as my vehicle to touch lives and give back to my community. My goal in college has been to give 100%, to earn good grades, and to develop friendships. Being an active executive council member of Student Government Association has broadened my opportunities to invest in others while becoming involved on and off the College campus.

I don't simply intend to share my gift of interpreting once I finish my degree; instead there are several occasions I have initiated involvement by our Interpreter Education students immediately. We have a significant deaf population on our campus and in our community thanks to Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf (ENCSD). To assist, I have coordinated student interpreters to sign for SGA meetings, campus activities, and community events. I have also donated time with interpreting at church, and being a Support Service Provider (SSP) for the North Carolina Deaf-Blind Association.

I feel honored to be a part of a college that strives to support and encourage students not only academically, but that encourages us as a whole, to be the best we can and then give even more. I am also grateful for the opportunity to attend Wilson Community College where every day I live my dream.