Working Mom Finds Success at NECC
Lina Garcia Kosko credits her sister’s deafness for leading her to Northern Essex’s Deaf Studies Program and Northern Essex for helping her find balance in her life.
“At Northern Essex I learned to set priorities, have good communication, and understand my family’s needs. These are the main components that made me a successful working mom and student.”
The 27 year-old will graduate in May with an associate degree in deaf studies and a great foundation to become an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. The mother of two young girls, she currently holds a 3.9 GPA.
Lina’s story really began with her older sister who was born deaf into a household that knew little about raising a deaf child and knew less about the deaf community.
Nearly 15 years ago, her sister and father traveled to the United States from Columbia so she could receive a cochlear implant. Once they were educated about the deaf community, they embraced her deafness. She refused the cochlear implant.
Lina, her mother, and another sister followed them to the U.S. The entire family learned English. Her deaf sister also learned ASL.
After high school, Lina earned a medical assistant associate degree. At work she was often asked to translate English to Spanish or vice versa. One day, a colleague noted that if she learned ASL she would be trilingual.
With that as an incentive, she enrolled in NECC’s Deaf Studies Program.
“I love the program,” she says. “It is amazing to see how all the classes connect with my life and all that I have been through with my big sister. Even though I have had a sibling in the deaf culture, I never understood it. This helps me understand.”
Following graduation, she will transfer into Framingham State University’s bachelor degree program in interpreting. Her ideal job, she says, is to be a trilingual interpreter within the Spanish community.