Kehinde Ogunbayo

To be successful, Kehinde Ogunbayo believes, “Don’t give up on your goals and don’t fear to ask others if you need help.”

This spring, Ogunbayo, 20, received an associate degree in Computer Aided Drafting Technology—a major she chose because she loves to draw.

Ogunbayo was born in Nigeria in West Africa, and grew up in a hearing world not knowing much about Deaf culture. She attended a mainstream high school with her twin sister, who is hearing, and who became her interpreter during high school. When she was 18 years old, she moved with her family to Chicago.

She chose RIT/NTID because she wanted to meet other deaf and hard-of-hearing people and experience Deaf culture.

“I also wanted to go to a technological college with lots of diversity,” she says. “RIT/NTID offered it all.”

She found a cooperative work experience with the City of Los Angeles invaluable.

“I applied my technical skills and learned so much on my co-op,” she says. “I worked on real-world design projects, and was an integral part of the design team with other engineers. I am confident now in my technical skills, and learned how to become more independent by living alone in a new city across the country from my family.”

Upon completion of her co-op, she received an Award of Appreciation from the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works/Bureau of Engineering Architectural Division.

On campus, this Dean’s List student works as an NTID Engineering Studies lab assistant, and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, African Deaf Student Union, Deaf Christian Club and supports the Organization for African Students.

“I love when I meet different people from around the world,” she says.

Ogunbayo is continuing her education. This spring she started a bachelor’s degree program in RIT’s Civil Engineering Technology program. Someday she hopes to work in the construction field and help design buildings, or return to Nigeria and teach deaf students.

This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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