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A Graduation Love Story

Submitted by on May 24, 2019 – 3:26 pm

John Ross and his fiance Ashleigh Bennet, a 2019 graduate of the American Sign Language Interpreting Certificate Program and a 2017 graduate of the Deaf Studies Program.

When Ashleigh Bennet was attending middle school in Manchester, NH, she met John Ross, the first Deaf person she had ever known.   More than 10 years later, John is now her fiancé and the two have a five-year old daughter, who is also Deaf.

Bennet says that from the moment she met John, she fell in love with American Sign Language and the Deaf culture and determined that is what she would like to study and make her life’s work.

On Saturday, May 18, Bennet graduated from Northern Essex with a certificate in American Sign Language Interpreting, and she interpreted for her proud fiancé who was sitting in the front row.  She earned her associate in Deaf Studies from Northern Essex in 2017.

Bennet is practicing now for the New Hampshire ASL interpreting license screening test and plans to continue on for a bachelor’s degree, which is required for national certification, at UNH Manchester or UMass Lowell.  She would like to build her career as an interpreter in an educational setting.

With her immediate family, who is Deaf, and her fiance’s large Deaf family, Bennet gets plenty of practice honing her sign language skills.

Northern Essex offers an Associate Degree in Deaf Studies and a Certificate in Sign Language Interpreting.  To learn more, contact enrollment services, admission@necc.mass.edu or 978 556-3700.