"I would not have made it this far if it wasn't for my ability to speak fluently and intelligently."
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At 6 months old, Tommy Horejes was diagnosed profoundly deaf. His parents brought him to CID, where he spent 11 years learning to listen and talk. In 1990, Tommy graduated from CID and started classes in an elementary school with hearing students. Just a few weeks into the school year, he was elected president of his fifth-grade class.
Success followed Tommy throughout his academic career. In high school, he served on the student council and played three varsity sports. He became serious about a career in law when he "saw the injustice of the legal system toward disabled people."
Tommy earned a BS and a master's degree and, in December 2009, a PhD in Justice Studies, specializing in disability policy, at Arizona State University. He is an assistant professor in the Gallaudet University Department of Sociology. He is a member of a research team with a three-year $497,267 grant to compare kindergartens for deaf children in the U.S., France and Japan.
Tommy's eight-page vitae include academic manuscripts, lectures at sociology conferences in Boston, San Franscisco, Barcelona, Bethlehem City and Gothenburg Sweden, committee work for the Society for the Study of Social Problems Accessibility Council and manuscript review for the American Educational Research Association and the Sociology Quarterly. His formal accomplishments began in the CID Boy Scout troop and including attaining the rank of Eagle, Order of the Arrow and the Northwestern University Book Award.
"I will never forget the unconditional support my teachers at CID gave me," he said.