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Last updated: 2011
Jeannette Wright is a young woman who understands the power of using one’s voice—both literally and figuratively. As the child of a deaf mother and a deaf and mute father, Jeannette has used her voice to help her parents communicate with the hearing and speaking world. As an interpreter and mediator, Jeannette has assumed adult responsibilities for much of her young life. At the tender age of eight, when a child should be carefree, Jeannette recalls the stress and humiliation of negotiating settlements with debt collectors and credit bureaus seeking payment from the family on past due accounts.
Living on Social Security benefits and food stamps, Jeannette’s parents have struggled to provide for their daughter and have often gone hungry when resources are limited. Jeannette, however, has refused to succumb to her circumstances and has continuously risen above the impoverished conditions in which she lives. Jeannette concedes, “I was not only taught to persevere but I was also taught to acknowledge my blessings.”
Despite a difficult home life, Jeannette has excelled academically, ranking first in a class of four hundred students. Described by her counselor as “a brilliant student, innovative leader, and persistent hard worker,” Jeannette’s compassionate spirit and desire to be a voice for the vulnerable led her to found the Animal Rights Club as a ninth grade student. This year, the Animal Rights Club has committed to raising $1,000 to a local animal shelter. Jeannette believes her past has taught her to appreciate what she has and live life to the fullest. She’s proud to have been able to beat the odds.
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