University: Carolina University Class of ’22
Major: Deaf Studies
Scholarships: Edward T. Bedford Foundation Scholarship
When Emma Hair was growing up, the mother of a deaf child in her church taught the choir some basic sign language to go along with their songs. After just a taste of this new language, Hair eventually began immersing herself in American Sign Language (ASL). After taking a few ASL classes along with her homeschool studies, she knew being an interpreter was in her future. And thanks to the Edward T. Bedford Foundation Scholarship from the Community Foundation, her dream became a reality.
Hair’s homeschooling and years of experience learning American Sign Language helped set her apart from other scholarship finalists. “They were interviewing so many people, I didn’t think I would get it,” she said. “I didn’t have a lot of the skills or experience they were looking for, but I think they were intrigued by my homeschooling and ASL skills. So when I got the call, I was shocked and thankful and was grateful that God answers prayers.”
A week after graduating from Carolina University she was offered a full-time position with Nationwide Interpreter Resource. Already she’s served as an interpreter for large events like graduations, national conferences, and church services. Her career goal is to one day work 1-on-1 with deaf and hard-of-hearing school children to help them live full, happy lives.