Samuel Sandoval

From the time he was given his first computer at age 11, Samuel Sandoval knew he wanted to pursue a career working with computers.

“It’s fun, challenging, and I never get bored,” says Sandoval, 21, who built the computer that he uses in college today.  

Sandoval grew up in Fairfax, Va., and attended a mainstream high school. In his junior and senior years, he attended Chantilly Academy to take computer courses, and became A+ certified, earning competency in areas including installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security and troubleshooting.

This tech-savvy, second-year student recently completed an NTID associate degree program in Applied Computing Technology, and this fall will begin a bachelor’s degree program in Information Technology in RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

“I came to RIT because of its good technical reputation, the excellent support services and the large number of deaf students,” he explains. “I like that I can request interpreters at events, and that there are tutors who sign and deaf professors I can go to for help. The communication is easy here.”

Sandoval was inspired by the words of motivational speaker Mark Victor Hansen, who said, “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. Get started now. With each step you take, you’ll grow stronger, more skilled, more self-confident and more successful.”

In 2010, Sandoval decided to heed those words and pursue his passion for technology issues related to deaf people by starting DeafTechNews (www.deaftechnews.com), a website that covers issues related to deaf technology products, assistive technology, video relay services and technology-related accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. He currently is developing a DeafTechNews app for the iPone and iPod Touch.

In addition to spending several hours a day maintaining the website, this Dean’s list student is a member of the NTID Computer Club.

A co-op placement this summer will send Sandoval to Cisco Systems in San Jose, Calif., where he will work as an accessible software engineering intern. His responsibilities will include testing products to ensure they meet accessibility standards.

Considering his future, Sandoval wants the American Dream—“A good job with excellent pay and a family.”

This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2011 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.