#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Jenelle Martin, 38, of Denver, CO

After working in the nonprofit world for 12 years, Martin decided it was time to follow her secret passion—American Sign Language.

“I love the idea that anything you think of can be communicated with your hands,” Martin said. “I’ve been in awe of how my deaf professors and mentors can actually paint a picture with their hands.”

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of her studies is the help ASL provides for communication with her older sister, who has a neuro-muscular degenerative disease that keeps her from comprehending complex information and inhibits her verbal communication. ASL has helped enhance Martin’s communication abilities and keep her sister involved in the decision-making for her care.

After graduating from Front Range Community College, Martin hopes to study Spanish in order to become a trilingual interpreter and complete a Master’s degree in health communications. She will use her scholarship funds for tuition.

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