Meet Daniel, a Clarke Philadelphia alum from 2009, pursuing an undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University (PSU).
Daniel is no stranger to overcoming adversity. He was born profoundly deaf and was not diagnosed with hearing loss until he was 10 months old. At 15 months old, Daniel received a cochlear implant, and four years later, he received a second cochlear implant.
In August 2010, genetic testing determined the cause of Daniel’s deafness, Usher’s Syndrome Type 1B.
Usher’s Syndrome is a rare genetic disease that affects both hearing and vision. The disease is characterized by complete hearing loss at birth and progressive loss of vision due to retinitis pigmentosa.
Daniel attended Clarke Philadelphia’s Preschool Program. Daniel shares, “It (Clarke) was the only place that would give me the skills, education and support to be able to listen and speak and become a successful learner.”
Daniel’s love of meteorology developed during October 2012, when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the United States. Daniel’s doctor, in partnership with the Make-a-Wish-Foundation, flew Daniel and his family to Atlanta, Georgia, to spend a day at the Weather Channel headquarters.
“I got to meet the meteorologists who worked there and explore all the equipment they use and see how weather forecasting is done behind the scenes. I was able to meet with adults who have the career I dream of having,” says Daniel.
Despite challenges, Daniel finished his first year at Penn State with impressive marks. He is currently on the school’s Earth and Mineral Science Student Council, a member of the PSU Branch of American Meteorological Society, Weather Outreach and Education, Campus Weather Service and the PSU Blue and White Society.
“Due to my hard work and never letting my hearing and vision losses stop me, my wish is now becoming a reality,” shares Daniel.
Daniel is a 2023 recipient of the Caroline A. Yale Memorial Fund Scholarship and will use the funds to support his goal of becoming a meteorologist.
“This scholarship will help me continue to meet my goal to become a meteorologist, studying at one of the top meteorology schools in the country. I am forever grateful to Clarke for laying the foundation and giving me the skills to listen, speak and advocate for myself,” notes Daniel.
To learn more about the Caroline A. Yale Memorial Fund Scholarship and this year’s recipients, click here.