Christopher Jappah

“A favorite quote by Mark Twain inspires how I choose to live,” says Accounting Technology major Christopher Jappah. “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Growing up deaf among his hearing family and friends, Jappah chose RIT/NTID because he wanted to meet other deaf people and learn about Deaf culture.

“I lost my hearing at age eight from an unknown illness, and as a deaf child, I always wanted to be part of the Deaf community, and learn sign language, too,” says the 22-year-old. 

Jappah was born in Monrovia, Liberia, and lived there until age 16 when his family moved to Coatesville, Pa., seeking better educational opportunities.

“My parents encouraged me and my siblings to pursue college,” he says. “They view education as a good opportunity to get a great job, and have a successful future.”

 Soccer plays an important part in Jappah’s life. He was a varsity player in his public high school, and is on the RIT men’s soccer team. Practicing six days a week, Jappah works hard and plays hard, but he doesn’t complain.

“Whenever I play soccer, I feel like I’m standing on top of Mt. Everest, seeing the whole world as one,” he says. “Soccer makes me happy.”

His accounting major will give him the skills to work with people and numbers, and that’s what he wants to do.

“Eventually, my goal is to open up my own sporting goods store, so that I can combine my love of sports and athleticism with my business skills,” he says.

A Dean’s list student, Jappah also finds time for fun.

“I enjoy spending time with friends, and because there’s so much to do here at RIT/NTID, I’m never bored!”  

This story appeared in the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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