Sofia Siliezar

“Being at RIT/NTID is my dream come true,” says Sofia Siliezar, 21, from Burke, Va. Sofia’s road to Rochester started in Guatemala where she was born. Both she and her older brother are deaf, having lost their hearing from meningitis episodes as small children. Their mother was intent on them having educational experiences appropriate to their needs, so at age 14, Sofia and her family moved to the United States for better schools and a better life. Sofia attended a mainstream high school in Fairfax, Va.

“My mother, sister and brother all encouraged me to go to college. My whole family views education as a good opportunity to get a great job and have a better life.”

Sofia, a second-year student in Accounting Technology, works part-time in the NTID Office of Admissions, a good match for her enthusiastic attitude and skills.

“I would definitely tell high school students to come here,” she says. “It’s a great education. People help you find what you are looking for and provide for your special educational needs. And you meet new people every day—deaf and hearing together.”

Between work and studies, Sofia still finds time to exercise at RIT’s new field house and play soccer with her friends. Drama club, movies, dancing, painting, and drawing balance her love for numbers and problem-solving. Awards in high school for motivation and good attitude and current Dean’s List status fit well into her future plans.

“It has been said that real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love. My accounting major will give me the skills to work with people and with numbers, and that’s just what I want to do. Eventually, I’d like to contribute in government or in a large corporate setting where there are teams of co-workers to work with and learn from. For now, I am focusing on myself. I just want to experience life.”

This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2005 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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