OCEAN CITY — Ocean City High School senior Ashlyn Petro was recently admitted to Gallaudet University, a university primarily for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, according to a press release.
According to the release, the university in Washington, D.C. accepts only 5 percent of hearing students. Petro studies American Sign Language at Ocean City High School and will not have an interpreter at the school, according to the release.
“This is an amazing accomplishment, as they only accept hearing students who they feel have a strong enough fluency in ASL,” American Sign Language teacher Amy Anderson said in a press release. “Ashlyn began learning ASL less than two years ago and she is exceptional.”
Petro plans to study linguistics and research how children who are deaf learn American Sign Language and how it impacts their skills reading and writing English.
“I feel so honored to be able to spend four years in one of the biggest deaf communities using ASL,” Petro said in the release. “I can’t wait to immerse myself in such an ASL and deaf culture hub like Gallaudet. Everyone I have met so far has been extremely kind and I just know that living on campus will open me up to meeting a whole new world of people.”
She will be the third Ocean City alumna to attend the school when she enrolls in the fall. Sara Pustizzi, who graduated Ocean City in 2009, and Megan Cinquegrani of the school’s 2006 class, also studied at Gallaudet.
Petro visited Gallaudet’s campus on a field trip in March with 30 of her ASL classmates and Andersen. As part of the application process, Petro took part in an hour-long interview with an admissions officer on campus, using American Sign Language.