Colony High School Student Goes To Gallaudet University

Contributed by Quentin Algood    

Meet Alyssa Akers, a Colony High School student who was born deaf. With encouragement from her teacher, Sally Hoople, Alyssa entered an essay entitled ‘How has technology changed the world for the deaf and hard of hearing?’ in the Mat-Su Sertoma Club’s Summer Camp program. The club’s new program was sending the lucky winner of the essay contest to a summer program for the deaf and hard of hearing called Aspen Camp, in Colorado.

The Mat-Su Sertoma Club not only selected Alyssa as the essay winner, but when they learned that she would be turning eighteen prior to the summer 2017 Aspen Camp session and therefore would not be eligible, they arranged for her to attend Gallaudet University’s Summer Youth Camp ‘Discover Your Future’ in Washington D.C.

Gallaudet University is the only university where all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students, and the club was thrilled to learn that Gallaudet is Alyssa’s first choice for continuing her education after she graduates.

Alyssa with her teacher, Sally Hoople.

Alyssa with her teacher, Sally Hoople.

In her thank you letter to the Mat-Su Sertoma Club, which Alyssa read in sign language to the Club’s membership at their January 19th meeting in Wasilla, Alyssa said:

“This summer, when I go to Washington DC, I’m going to be learning how to go to college, exploring potential different careers and experiencing what exciting Washington DC has to offer. And I will be meeting people like me who can sign. I will not be left out.”

How you can help?

The Mat-Su Sertoma Club raises funds to support hearing health and other non-profit organizations in the Mat-Su valley through its annual fundraiser, the Mat-Su Polar Plunge. 2017 marks the 10th year these brave souls will have plunged into Finger Lake during the dead of winter – Freezin’ for a Reason. You can take the Plunge, or pledge on one or more of the dedicated plungers already registered for the February 25th event to be held at the Palmer Elks Lodge on Bogard Rd.

Learn more at or on Facebook.