"My passion and my goal is to teach deaf children in the future," Chad Catron said using sign language. Catron is a student at Fresno State. He was born deaf and is the son of two deaf parents. "I was born and have grown up as a deaf individual and I believe I know what is best for deaf children," said Catron.
A $1.5 million dollar gift will help with educating students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Joseph Slotnick glows as he offers the money to the Silent Garden. It's a program that supports deaf studies at Fresno State. "I feel very happy. I'm proud to be able to do this," said Slotnick. Slotnick was three when he lost his ability to hear. Since then, Slotnick and his wife, Mary have work hard to help individuals who are deaf achieve their dreams.
"You want to tell people, tell that deaf person...you can do anything, just try," said Mary Slotnick. Catron says the money given to the university means greater opportunities for educating people about the deaf. "Not that deaf are disabled, but they need communication access. The ability to communicate with their parents, to communicate within the educational system. Using American Sign Language has benefited me greatly while growing up," said Catron.
Slotnick and his wife know first hand the challenges these students face in their education and want to give them a helping hand.