Image description: Justin with white hair and beard, black shirt, and a blue background with a green drape in the middle.
Transcript: Hello, my friends, my family, and my community. I have exciting news to share with you all. Know what? I have been accepted into PhD program! Where? At Northern Illinois University. Wow. I am so thrilled. I will be majoring in History, specifically Deaf History. I am looking forward to starting my studies this fall. I wanted to take this opportunity to express my gratitude. My journey and my pursuit of my goal... ... would not be possible without those people.
Of course, I wanted to thank my family & my children... ... for their patience and sacrifices. I have given so much of my time for this dream. My family have been so supportive and patient. I am very appreciative of their support. It would be impossible do so without it. I went back to Gallaudet for my second bachelor degree. That required a lots of sacrifice and time from my children. So, I am so grateful to them.
I wanted to express my gratitude to Gallaudet University. I didn't expect Gallaudet to show... ... such passion to see their students succeed. They were very supportive and encouraging. My Gallaudet professors were very supportive. I asked them to write letter of recommendations for me. They went beyond it by providing so much advice... ... support, and encouragement. They advised me about PhD application process. Its process was different from MA/BA application process. So, they gave out lots of helpful wisdom & advice. I am so appreciative of their advice. I haven't named their names here but they know who they are.
I wanted to make a special recognition. I never forget that in 22/24 years ago, Dr. Bernie Palmer... ... Gallaudet professor who shared about his PhD experience. He mentioned about reading and writing a lot. As young 18 years old, I distinctively remembered... ... that I didn't want to study for PhD... I had never forgotten that Dr. Palmer intensely stared at me... ... told me directly, "NO, YOU CAN!" That incident had imprinted into my mind and ... ... grew from a seed into a reality. So, I wanted to thank him for showing a strong belief in me. So, wow, thank you Dr. Palmer.
I wanted to thank my interpreter agency... ... Professional Interpreting Enterprise (PIE)... ... and the interpreter community for their support. I had to leave them to study at Gallaudet for my second BA. My agency accepted it graciously. Of course, they would miss me and want me to work there. But they were very supportive of me pursuing my dreams. When I was working on my PhD application, they supported it. My interpreter colleagues expressed full support. They said "We will miss you but wish you the best!" Just lots of positive encouragement. It has been a privilege and honor to work with them since 2018. I am not leaving the interpreter profession. I will work as an interpreter but I will change my priorities. But my heart will be always with the interpreter community.
I wanted to thank the Deaf community for their positive words. It really meant a lot to me.
Of course, I am so thrilled and happy about this news. To be truthful with you, when I got the news, I cried. It triggered my grief. I still miss Clarisa so much. I wanted to mention Clarisa in this vlog to honor her. I shall always treasure her with all of my heart. When Clarisa was born, I did put aside my PhD dream. I was willing to let my PhD dream die off... ... and create a new dream with Clarisa. When Clarisa was gone, I had collapsed with grief. I had to build up by restoring the PhD dream. Now my PhD dream has came true. I wanted to recognize how special Clarisa was to me. I will always miss and cherish her.
By reflecting back into my life, from a former pastor to... ... and the Church, I had radically changed my life. I had lost my career and had to find a new career. But I always had that dream of PhD. My way to PhD was unusual, it was not a smooth ride. There were many challenges on my path toward PhD. Now, Finally! I have arrived at my dream. Wow! So, I wanted to thank you all for your positive words, ... ... support, and encouragement. Of course, my dream is not finished. It has only started. I will continue to pursue it until it is finished.