Story, photo, and video by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor
Sada Imran, who was born deaf, has faced her share of obstacles in her 19 years.
But with the help of technology, educators and family, and the Student Advocacy Center, Sada graduated with the Skyline High School Class of 2016. After finishing a year at Washtenaw Community College next week, she will transfer to the Rochester Institute of Technology with plans to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant.
Imran will tell her story at an annual fundraiser to support the Student Advocacy Center. The live storytelling event will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, May 5 at Washtenaw Community College’s Towsley Auditorium in the Morris Lawrence Building, 4800 E. Huron River Dr., Ann Arbor.
The evening is a chance for new and experienced storytellers to come together to inspire, challenge, and create community all while supporting SAC’s work helping students stay in school, explains SAC Executive Director Peri Stone-Palmquist.
“Too often, we underestimate our youth and what they’re capable of,” said Stone-Palmquist. “Sada calls that out in her story and shows us how she rose above those expectations. I hope people will feel challenged and inspired.”
Sada says she was more than ready to be mainstreamed at Skyline High School after enrollment in a program for the deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) in elementary and middle school.
AAPS students in self-contained DHH classrooms are taught by WISD staff, but their classrooms are currently located at Skyline, Honeycreek and the Preschool.
“I appreciate the (DHH program) because it really helped me get ready and focus on myself,” said Sada, who has a cochlear implant and can both speak and use sign language. “The program was supportive in many different ways. It allowed me to get on my feet to the path of becoming independent, But at one point, I was ready to leave and wanted to explore the real world. My dream and goals were to always become more independent, and I did, and I prevailed. I got to experience the real world. I’m more independent, do the things I want, have more freedoms.”
She said her parents, Lina and Mansour Imran, have been her biggest supporters of all.
“As many waves of doubt I had,” she said, “I still went higher than anyone’s expectation.”
Tickets to the fundraiser may be purchased online at http://tellingtales2017.bpt.me or by calling 800-838-3006