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Michelle Jay was thirteen years old when she met a Deaf person for the first time. The girl was a new student at Michelle’s school and Michelle was just completely awestruck with the beautiful way the girl communicated.

But when the girl’s teacher finally introduced them, Michelle had no idea what to do! All she could do was shake her hand and slowly say her name. Michelle felt terrible that she couldn’t tell the girl it was nice to meet her and that she would be glad to be her friend.

Eventually, they began writing back and forth to each other, but the two of them got along so well that Michelle wanted to truly be able to communicate with her. 

She decided to take an after-school ASL class, but quickly realized that just learning signs like “dog,” “cat,” “hamburger,” and “hotdog” was not going to be enough to actually have real conversations with her new friend.

So, she searched online for ASL classes and found some good resources, but no complete options for learning the language. Michelle ended up having to take classes at the local college because it was the only option she could find. Unfortunately, being only thirteen years old, these classes were expensive with both her time and her family’s money, so this option was definitely not ideal, but it did allow her to learn and fall in love with the language.

After completing her first ASL course, Michelle was finally able to truly connect with her Deaf friend and they became very close during their years in school. They no longer needed their little notebook to write back and forth and it was such a fantastic feeling. No other students put in the effort that Michelle did to communicate with her and we believe they all missed out on getting to know this wonderful person at their school who went on to become a very talented dancer.