David Tawil

“I didn’t really fit in during high school,” says David Tawil, a second-year student from Eatontown, N.J. Tawil, whose parents moved their whole family from the city of Bethlehem in Palestine to the United States for better opportunities, was the only deaf person in his high school, so he was excited to learn about RIT/NTID from a teacher.

“I wanted the opportunity to interact with many hard-of-hearing and deaf students and get access services in the classroom,” he says.

Tawil enrolled in NTID’s Associate+ Bachelor’s Degree program in Business, pursuing a double major in Accounting and Management—taking classes in RIT’s Saunders College of Business. He’s also minoring in Deaf Studies.

“My dream is to work in corporate accounting for 10 years and then open my own business,” he says.

Tawil is a member of NTID’s Masquers Drama Club and the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He also is a volunteer instructor for the No Voice Zone (where students learn American Sign Language and Deaf culture from other students) and serves as an orientation assistant for NTID’s New Signers Program. His involvement with so many activities on campus stems from his interest in meeting new people and trying new things.

“It’s been so easy to make friends here because they understand what I’ve been through,” he says. “I feel like I belong here. The toughest part for me now is balancing my social activities with my studies, but I prioritize to put my academics first.”

The 20-year-old follows this motto: “When you get knocked down, get back up and keep moving forward.”

This story appeared in the Fall/Winter 2013 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

More Success Stories

Portrait of Shavone Moncrieffe
Be yourself and live life to the fullest,” is a motto Shavone Moncrieffe strives to follow every day.
Shareef Ali in glasses and a blue shirt
A job with VTCSecure, an international provider of telecommunications access, awaits Shareef after graduation.
Viet Q. Le
Viet Q. Le is a faculty member in NTID’s Science and Mathematics Department.
Joseph Hill
Joseph Hill is a faculty member in NTID’s American Sign Language and Interpreting Education Department.
Laural Hartman
Laural Hartman is a lecturer in NTID’s Visual Communications Studies Department, teaching core courses such as Drawing and Principles of Design and Color.
Jason Nordhaus
Nordhaus is a core faculty member in RIT’s Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation in the School of Mathematical Sciences, and a professor in the astrophysics Ph.D. program in RIT’s School of Physics and Astronomy.
Alesia Allen
Visiting Assistant Professor in NTID’s Department of Liberal Studies, Allen teaches introductory courses in psychology and abnormal psychology.
Jonathan Roman
At RIT, Roman found his purpose — to bridge the gap and connect the hearing and the deaf worlds.
Susana Flores
Flores, the only deaf person in her family and the first to go to college, is planning to be the curator of an art gallery one day.
Kelly Jo Hilleshiem
The NBA Indiana Pacers’ dance team wanted her, but Hilleshiem chose RIT/NTID instead.
Christopher Caulfield
Christopher chose RIT to pursue the web and mobile computing program, and to meet successful deaf role models that he never had encountered back home.
Alesia Allen
Visiting Assistant Professor in NTID’s Department of Liberal Studies, Allen teaches introductory courses in psychology and abnormal psychology.
Jason Nordhaus
Jason Nordhaus joined the faculty in NTID’s Science and Mathematics Department as an assistant professor and theoretical astrophysicist.
Portrait of Talila Lewis
A desire to work with young people and involve them in social justice advocacy brought Lewis to RIT/NTID.
Mary Rose Weber
Weber’s favorite quote is from Albert Einstein: “The only source of knowledge is experience.”
Simmons, 22, from Pickering, Ohio, is a fourth-year Packaging Science major who plans to graduate in May.
RIT’s variety of support services was important to this Mechanical Engineering Technology major.
This NTID Presidential Scholarship recipient works hard, but still finds time to play.