Deaf Pilot Encourages Area Students

One man has epitomized the phrase 'you can do anything you set your mind to.'

Since he was young, Jonathan Leach knew he wanted to become a pilot.

But one thing could have kept him from his dreams, Jonathan is deaf. Now he's using his disability to encourage others to follow their dreams.

Friday, Leach taught deaf students from Henderson Elementary, what it's like to fly.

"I want to inspire the children to make goals," Leach said. "I went to school and learned how to fly. I went through the process, took the test, and passed. Now I really enjoy it. I love airplanes."

And, he loves to inspire others who share the same disability, to achieve their goals.

"Yesterday they asked me a million times, if he is really deaf," Audra Walsh, a deaf education teacher at Henderson Elementary said.

Walsh says her students sometimes second guess themselves because of their disability.
But, hearing from a role-model like Leach, seems to be working.

"First I need to go to middle school, then I need to go to high school, then I need to go to college, and then I need to go this flight school," Robert Feltus, a student at Henderson Elementary signed.

"I need to learn, I need to go to class, and then listen to my teachers," student Kevin Sellers signed. "Then I can."

And, to Leach, these are the signs of progress.

"You can learn to make goals, you can be a scientist, you can be an engineer, you can do chemistry, whatever you want to do," Leach signed. "Whatever your hearts desire you can do it. It doesn't matter that your deaf. My hope is to help them remember that."


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