Caitlyn Campbell, an ambitious 14-year old freshman from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, dreams of becoming a book critic and traveling to Paris and Italy someday.
But first, she wants to go to prep school. Specifically, a small faith-based college preparatory school in the mountains of northern Georgia. In Caitlyn’s own words: “I want to be with people that want to learn and grow just as much as I do.”
Caitlyn was born with a moderate to severe hearing loss in both ears, and she has worn hearing aids since she was three. While her older brother has the same condition, her mother, younger brother, and stepfather all are hearing. Though she does know some sign language, Caitlyn mainly uses spoken language to communicate with her friends and family and relies heavily on lipreading.
A prolific reader and writer, Caitlyn is passionate about learning, especially history and social studies. In fact, she chose this particular school because it offers a wide selection of Honors and AP classes. Moreover, the school’s small class sizes reduces Caitlyn’s need for accommodations or services—unlike her previous schools, where she often felt singled out for having to take speech therapy and remedial classes. Caitlyn recounts, “I always felt like I was treated differently than the other kids. … “[They] thought that because I always had to leave a class to get ‘special’ help, that I was therefore ‘special,’ and not in a warm-and-fuzzy kind of way.” To her, this school provides an opportunity to be on equal footing with her peers.
However, such an endeavor is not cheap. Although the school’s financial aid package will cover most of her room, board, and tuition, Caitlyn still needs about $7,500 for books, uniforms, fees, transportation, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Since her biological father has not provided any support for the family since she was four, the financial burden falls on Caitlyn and her mother. For this reason, Caitlyn has started an online fundraising campaign at www.indiegogo.com/caitlynsdreamfortherighteducation.
So far, the campaign has raised $3000 and will end July 31st. Because the majority of donations came through the mail, the indiegogo.com page currently records only $930. Nevertheless, Caitlyn has 31 days left to raise another $3,500. When DeafandHoH found out about her story, we wanted to see if we could help Caitlyn reach her goal. So, if you would like to make a donation, go to the website linked above and click on the red “CONTRIBUTE NOW” button. Your support, financial or otherwise, would be very much appreciated!