This month’s #NADHandwave goes to Colin Lualdi, a young deaf man who is a recent graduate of Massachusetts’ The Learning Center for the Deaf and a part-time student at Framingham High School. He was honored this spring by being selected as one of only 141 seniors nationwide recognized as a U.S. Presidential Scholar. He was one of three delegates representing the state of Massachusetts for their academic accomplishments. More than 3,300 candidates qualified as National semi-finalists for the 2013 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams.
The 141 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.
The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, presented the prestigious Presidential Scholar Medallion to Colin and his fellow honorees this past June during a special ceremony in Washington D. C. The scholars were also invited to the White House and were treated to a weekend of celebratory events, which included opportunities to meet with their state’s Senators and Congressmen. Upon his return to Massachusetts, Colin was also invited to meet with Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. In all, Colin felt it was a thrilling opportunity and honor to be a part of the U.S. Presidential Scholars program.
Colin is currently enjoying his summer working as a youth program sailing instructor for Piers Park Sailing Center in East Boston, Massachusetts. He welcomes the opportunity to be spending most of his days outdoors teaching and enjoying the simple forces and elements that propel his boat forward surrounded by the amazing view to be had looking upon the Boston skyline. In his position as Staff Instructor at Piers Park, Colin has had the opportunity to teach groups of hearing children from disadvantaged backgrounds in the city of Boston, as well as groups of Deaf high school students and members of the Boston Deaf/Blind community.
As a senior and honor roll student, Colin enjoyed being a member of Academic Bowl team for The Learning Center for the Deaf, which earned Regional and National Awards this past year. He served as the team’s Captain for three years and was selected as an All Star Player his Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years.
Colin also served as president of the school’s chapter of the Junior National Association of the Deaf during his senior year. In previous years, he served as the chapter’s treasurer, fundraising director, and as a National Conference delegate. During high school, Colin also enjoyed being an active member of the student body government and served as their vice-president his junior year.
Earlier this year, Colin was selected to join a team of delegates from The Learning Center to travel to China. The team visited Beijing and Shanghai though the main purpose of the trip was to visit and continue building relations with a sister school of The Learning Center for the Deaf, the Bo’Ai School for the Deaf, in JiuJiang, China.
Outside of school, Colin’s interests include the Boy Scouts in which he served as his Troop’s Senior Patrol Leader his sophomore year and earned the rank of Eagle Scout last fall. He has also been inducted as a member of the Order of the Arrow, the Boy Scout Honor Society. Hiking, camping, and backpacking remain some of his favorite pastimes. He also enjoys skiing, horseback riding, and reading.
Last year, his interest in science led him to design a science project and participate in the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) National Science Fair where he won first place for sending a helium-filled weather balloon to 100,000 feet to test the photovoltaic efficiency of a solar cell. While there, the camera on board the capsule captured amazing photographs of near space. The victory at RIT encouraged him to enter the Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair where the project earned a second place award.
Soon Colin’s travels will have him leaving his familiar home in Massachusetts for a more extended period. This fall, Colin will be heading to New Jersey where he will be joining the Princeton University Freshman Class of 2017. He has not yet decided on his major, but he will explore courses in Physics, Computer Science, History, and Government.
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) gives monthly #NADHandwaves to people in our community. This is a great opportunity for the NAD to recognize people who do the work they do. With such great people, the world continues to move. If you know someone who you’d like to nominate for a #NADHandwave, you can submit your suggestion on www.nad.org/contactus!
The NAD was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more.
Colin, we at the NAD wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors!