May 20, 2013
Rudolfo Tapia

National Organization Recognizes Emerging Deaf Leader

Rudolfo Tapia Jr. is an emerging leader at Front Range, and he has a scholarship to prove it.

A Pharmacy Technician student, Rudolfo received an Emerging Leaders Scholarship for $1,000 from the National Society of Leadership and Success for his established leadership ability and accomplishments.

Planning Events for the Deaf Community.

Rudolfo, who is deaf, has demonstrated leadership by using social media to plan social and recreational events for the deaf community.

Mile High ASL on Facebook, Rudolfo explained through Dori LaJeunesse, coordinator of Deaf Student Services at Front Range, plans various events, such as bowling, restaurant outings, and hiking in the mountains.

“It’s an opportunity to meet each other,” Rudolfo signs, “especially for deaf people new to Colorado. I like to socialize with the deaf community and try to help deaf people become more integrated into society.”

The group has more than 500 members, not all deaf and hard of hearing. Signing learners and interpreters also are welcome to join.

Film Study at Rochester Institute of Technology.

After graduating from Legacy High School, Rudolfo, now 27, set off for Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in New York to study film. RIT has more than 1,300 deaf and hard of hearing students among its 15,000 undergraduates and is home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

He assessed his career options and decided his job opportunities would be few.

Computer networking was next. It wasn’t a good match for him either.

Pharmacy Technician is a Good Fit.

Then he found Pharmacy Technician.

“I enjoy it a lot,” he signs. “It’s very interesting. It’s different from my other majors. There are job opportunities for me.”

He recently started the internship portion of the program at a company that has an employee who is hard of hearing.

“I’m interested in this work,” he signs. “There are a lot of different medicines that can solve health problems. I’m learning a lot. It’s hands-on work – typing information, counting pills. And I can work with patients who are deaf. As a student in this program, I’ve seen that I can be successful.”

About the author:

John Feeley is director of public relations at Front Range Community College. He’s a retired soccer referee and newspaper editor whose subscription ran out.

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