Azael Perry

Azael Perry believes in seeking new experiences. The only deaf member of his family, Perry was adopted from Honduras. The 20-year old, third-year Psychology major attended Rio Mesa High School in California. When it was time for college, he chose RIT/NTID over colleges in his home state, because he wanted to broaden his horizons.

“I wanted to experience a whole different culture, environment and people,” he explains. “I also wanted to learn more about Deaf culture.”

When Perry first came to RIT, he majored in Applied Mathematics and planned to become a math teacher for deaf students.

“As a teacher, I wanted to make differences in young deaf students’ lives and see them grow to become awesome people,” he says. “I switched to psychology because it offers me the opportunity to help individuals with their personal issues and mental health.”

Last summer, at a Honduran deaf Christian camp, he had a life-changing experience.

Perry’s goal shifted and he decided to become a counselor in the United States as well as in Honduras, and he is considering continuing on to seminary school and earning a degree in religion.

“My goal has changed because I know that God is calling me to work in a Christian ministry for deaf people in Honduras,” he says.

He is an active member of Campus Crusade for Christ and was vice president of NTID’s Hispanic Deaf Club.

Perry advises others who are trying to search the purpose in their lives or decide what to do with their future to look to their faith for inspiration.

“Ask yourself: is this something that motivates you to work harder? Is it something that you would be happy with at the end of the day? By turning to your faith for the answers, you will be able to discover your life’s purpose,” he says.

This story appeared in the Fall/Winter 2009 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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