Signing Student

A West High School graduate turned heads recently when she gave the commencement speech of a lifetime.
The reason it was so special, is the fact she's deaf.
In this week's Tennessee Traveler, Alan Williams brings you the story of this remarkable girl.
"In a world full of obstacles, sometimes they lose their way and give up. Obstacles are sometimes impossible to overcome."
Not for Nori Rittenhouse.
The West High School senior became the first deaf signer of a local high school commencement other than those who've attended the Tennessee School of the Deaf.
Nori's success story goes back to 1996. She was adopted by her parents at age 8 after a mission trip in Honduras
Nori's mom, Nori's mom says, "So when i flew back home, i told my husband, i found our daughter."
An immovable bond was forever forged between a deaf mother and daughter.
Despite her deafness, Nori's confidence grew much larger than her 4'11" frame, culminating at graduation, inspiring her graduating class.
"I was probably more nervous than she was on the stage, and a little bit.
"One of my hero's Michael Jordan said obstacles don't have to stop you if you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up."
With graduation over, nori walked the halls of her high school one last time, reflecting on all she said to her peers.
"I would like to show that the deaf can speak and that we can do alot of things and be able to face things and it was alot of excitement."
"we must make those obstacles our footstools so we can soar and we can feel the wind beneath our wings, thank you and God bless.
Small in stature, but tall in wisdom.
Nori is going on to college at National Technical Instititute for the Deaf in New York.


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