Clarke alums Mariam, Ally and Destiny (left to right) during a visit to Clarke Northampton to celebrate their high school graduation.
On Thursday, June 1, three Clarke alums walked the halls of their alma mater, Clarke Northampton, seeing familiar faces and listening to a joyful round of applause from their former educators and the support staff on site. All three are deaf or hard of hearing and use hearing technology to access sound.
These three Clarke alums—Ally, Destiny and Mariam—received services from Clarke for at least 10 years, and on June 2, 2023, all graduated from Hampshire Regional High School (HRHS), where Clarke operates a Model Inclusion Program. Participating students who are deaf or hard of hearing are mainstreamed into high school classes with their peers who have typical hearing, while having access to Clarke support on site. The Clarke team provides speech and language services, audiological management and teacher of the deaf support to the students there.
Ally, Destiny and Mariam have each accrued many exciting achievements along the way, including community service experiences and impressive progress in their self-advocacy work as students with disabilities. For example, the trio thought ahead and worked together to ensure that their high school graduation would offer them the sound access they’d need during the special ceremony.
Ally, of Greenfield, MA—once selected as HRHS “Senior of the Week” due in part to her ability to manage the college preparation process with grace and maturity—will be heading to Greenfield Community College in the fall to pursue a career in history. She notes, “I am proud of getting from where I was, to where I am now,” and she is looking forward to a summer of relaxation and preparing for college.
Mariam, of Springfield, MA, began programming with Clarke in 2013 when she moved to the US from Jordan. She will be working at a local deli this summer to earn money and will attend Holyoke Community College in the fall, with dreams of eventually entering the medical field. Proud of her hard work and exuberant as she considers what’s ahead, she shares, “I am just really proud of myself… high school is so hard… I am really excited!”
With plans to earn her certificate in accounting, Destiny, of Southbridge, MA, is off to Holyoke Community College this fall, where she will continue her work advocating for herself and being a tenacious student. “I am proud of making it here,” says Destiny. “In my high school journey, there were a lot of times when I felt like I wanted to quit but I didn’t.” Growing more goal-oriented and diligent each day, Destiny will be working full-time this summer to save up for a car.
Learn more about the many programs and services available from the expert team at Clarke Northampton at clarkeschools.org/northampton.