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In the United States, two-thirds of hearing-impaired people do not complete high school. In this talk at TEDxStanford, Rhodes Scholar Rachel Kolb — who was born deaf — shows what is possible through family support and self-belief, and proves that what is assumed about you and what you can actually achieve don’t always match up.

A native of Albuquerque, N.M., Rachel Kolb sees effective communication as essential to ideas, creativity and progress. She received a BA with honors in English from Stanford and will graduate in June 2013 with a coterminal master’s degree in English. While at Stanford, Kolb has been active in the Stanford Equestrian Team, Leland Quarterly, Stanford Daily and Stanford Power to ACT. She aspires to be a writer, scholar and public disability advocate. Kolb was named an American Rhodes scholar in November 2012 and will pursue an MSc in contemporary literature at Oxford beginning in October 2013.

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