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Our Deaf Mentors

Lavona Kay Collins
Maryville, Tennessee

My name is Lavona Collins. I live in Maryville, Tennessee. I worked at First Tennessee Bank for 21 years and am currently retired. A few of my hobbies that I enjoy include staying at home, reading, drawing, stitching and crocheting. I graduated from the Tennessee School for the Deaf back in 1974. After graduating high school, I went to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, but didn’t end up graduating from NTID. Instead, I transferred to Knoxville Copper Business College where I majored in book keeping and later graduated. I always enjoy hiking and seeing waterfalls in the mountains. I also like traveling to new places with friends and meeting new people. I delight in riding my bicycle, but don’t do a lot of that activity currently. I really prefer to use the sign style of American Sign Language. In fact, I LOVE it. With my use of expression and movement, even some hearing people with no ASL knowledge can understand me. If I have no expression, people simply won’t understand me. I love being expressive, having fun, and joking around. I enjoy making people laugh and always try to one-up the other person’s joke. ASL is so much more fun than English which is dull and mind-numbing. Seriously, English Sign Language makes me fall asleep! But when I use American Sign Language I come alive! It is my favorite. That is definitely something you need to know about me. I want to be a Deaf mentor for VCI, because I desire to see new interpreters improve. I aspire to see them become skilled and reach their goals. They have the ability to positively impact the Deaf community and I want other Deaf customers pleased with new interns and interpreters.

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Hometown, Tennessee

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