Helen Yu

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy; it is the greatest gift we can give to those around us,” says Helen Yu, 19, about how she chooses to live her life.

A native of Sunnyvale, Calif., Yu became hard of hearing at age five. She attended mainstream schools, and a high school with a small program for deaf students.

“I chose RIT/NTID because it offers me a great opportunity to receive a good education,” she says. “It has an outstanding reputation, and the support services and the huge deaf community on campus are great. I like the friendly environment with the blended community of deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing students, and I love the cultural diversity here. It’s amazing to socialize and interact with so many different people!”

A second-year student in NTID’s Associate+Bachelor’s Degree Program in Business, Yu plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business Management in RIT’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business.

Yu is serving a second term as NTID student government senator, is editor of RIT’s Circle K International’s newsletter, a member of the Asian Deaf Club and NTID Business Club, and a mentor in the Big Brother/Big Sister program. She also is on the Dean’s List, and most recently was recognized as an NTID student ambassador.

“My involvement at RIT/NTID has helped me in so many ways, including developing my leadership skills, and understanding how to work with different people,” says Yu.

In her free time, Yu enjoys socializing with friends, playing billiards, hiking and ice skating.

After graduation, her goal is to volunteer and travel to places where she can assist in the education of deaf students.

“My passion is helping people in need,” she says. “Eventually I’d like to work for the federal government or own a non-profit business where I can continue service to others.”

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

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