SHANTAE THOMAS 36
Mother, daughter, professional, and friend, are just some of the words that describe me. And while I am all of the above , I am also hearing impaired. At first glance you would never know that I struggle with this disability, because I do not let it define me. I was always raised to excel regardless of setbacks, and I actually regard this part of my life as a blessing. I know that may sound silly, but my hearing loss has helped me in many ways, and its helped me to ultimately step into my true calling. I loss my hearing in 2006, and it was truly a struggle. I had to adapt to a foreign way of life. Unlike those born deaf, I had to learn almost everything over again. As a mother, I was forced to be more in tune with my children, and because I am unable to hear them, I have to truly be present and in the moment at all times. As a friend, I had to rely heavily on my circle of friends. They help me in ways that most friends would not. My disability has proven to be a catalyst to one of my most proudest accomplishments, and that’s the founding of a non profit group I run, called Women of Change.
This group serves to empower women of all ages, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, and education levels. We strive to do good in the community and increase the quality of life for women locally. I started this group online due to the fact that I was not able to hear. Social media has been my main source of communication for years now. This group has helped women develop bonds, increase their self-esteem, and overall increase the quality of their life. Even though I created this group to help other women, it has truly been a Saving Grace for me. As a black woman living in this world, I have experienced many challenges, and being hearing impaired has only added to this obstacle. It is my hope to inspire other women to realize that regardless of their situation, they can still experience all that life has to offer. Thank you for allowing me to introduce myself