What I’ve seen and where I am today

By Walberto  |   From : El Salvador  |   School : Horace Mann School for the Deaf

In the past until now, I see negative influences from around the world. 

El Salvador, my home, is where my life began with challenges. 

For example, at a young age, I was so lonely because I had no friends with whom I wanted to socialize. 

Based on that, I have never met people to share my feelings or express the stories of my life story.

Secondly, I saw that my accommodations were extremely challenging at my old school in El Salvador. 

When I attended school daily, I remember when I entered the classroom, I usually sit in the last seat in the back.

At the same time, I was nervous and afraid because I was not prepared.

I did not hear fully what the teacher will say. 

For example, during class, the teacher would read us aloud in Spanish from a small phrase, quote, or a paragraph from the books. 

Students had to write down precise word by word of what the teacher is saying.

Unfortunately, I could not hear everything, so I was stuck. 

I tried to understand, but I only wrote short words and sentences that I understood. 

I tend to make up phases into my own words because I could not understand the teacher. 

Daily, it was the same process, and nothing good changed because I learned nothing. 

Also, I was the only deaf student in that school.

In reality, my life experience was not good enough as I looked back. 

In 2015, for the last ten years, I have been frustrated with my accommodations accessibility to communicate with others people without hearing aids that help me hear clearly.  

In 2016, I transferred to Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, HMS.

Horace Mann was the ideal school. I attended there every day because I was able to have access to what I needed.

My experience here at HMS was amazing because my accommodation was more accessible than my previous schools, which I didn’t like there. 

I learned a new language, American Sign Language, that helped me a lot to meet and communicate with the Deaf community, among the diversity of people from different countries (such as Latino, Asian, Chinese, etc.).

In addition to one of my favorite experiences I had in HMS was volunteering to work with kindergarten and elementary kids during the summer program for two or three years.

Overall, Horace Mann School shaped me for being a good person, hard-working, and thanks to my teachers, mother, and best friend, Mohamed. 

They helped and guided me to make my dreams successful. 


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