Janna Luksha

Janna Luksha, 20, from North Yarmouth, Maine, credits her father with helping her make the decision to attend college.

“He told me earning a college degree was essential for having a successful future,” she says. “I chose RIT because it offered me what other colleges didn’t—the opportunity to get the best career preparation and to form friendships with other deaf students.

“RIT is a perfect match for me,” says Luksha. “I attended a mainstream high school, but I grew up in a deaf family, so I’m comfortable in both the hearing and deaf environments. I like that there is a large deaf community that I can communicate with here.”

A third-year student, Luksha is pursuing an associate degree in Computer Integrated Machining Technology. She likes working with numbers and her hands, and prefers not sitting at a desk all day.

“The CIMT program is the best program for me,” she says. “I really enjoy the hands-on work I get to do on state-of-the-art industrial machines.”

She admits that blueprint reading has been her biggest challenge within her major so far, but her professors are very approachable, and her classmates are helpful, too, when she needs clarification.

Luksha completed a cooperative work experience at Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania, and learned a lot.

“I was amazed at how many different machines I was required to learn how to use during my co-op, and I know the experience I gained will help me when I look for employment after I graduate,” she says.

Luksha keeps busy outside of class—playing basketball, skiing and socializing with her friends. She enjoys her time here at RIT, and still is undecided about her immediate plans after she graduates.

“I may continue my education and pursue a bachelor’s degree instead of heading directly to work,” she says. “But in five years I see myself working at a job, earning good pay and having a great life.

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

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