Congratulations to the winners of St. Petersburg College’s where are YOU going? photo and video contest. The summer-long contest asked students to show us – with a photo or a video – where they want their educations to take them.
Brittany Lyp and Panama
Winners were chosen based on votes from the public on Facebook. The winning entries were submitted by students Brittany Lyp and Brandon Young. See the other winning entries on the college’s Facebook page.
Pictured with Panama, a dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Brittany has always been interested in the deaf community because she has relatives who are deaf. But work at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium with a deaf dolphin helped solidify her decision to become a sign language interpreter.
Here’s how she described the experience shown in her winning photo:
“Most people know about Winter’s story and how she lost her tail, but many people don’t know about Panama. Panama is a female Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin that stranded herself, suffering from anemia, sever sunburn and infection.
She was begging for food out in the wild and became dependent on humans as a food source, which is why she was underweight when she was rescued. After some research was done, it was declared that Panama was deaf.
Due to Panama’s profound hearing loss, the training staff works with Panama a little differently than they do with the other dolphins. Instead of using a whistle to tell her she has done a great job and she can receive reinforcement, they point at her or tap her gently on the back, use hand signals and even use water to get her attention.
I love Panama as she is an older dolphin and an ambassador for the deaf community.
Currently, I am working with a few SPC instructors and our organization to have a program set up so the deaf community can learn about dolphins and have an on-call interpreter at the aquarium.
I truly love the fact that my job allows me to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of injured and disabled people coming from all around the world to share their own tale. I continue to gain more experience from the instructors at St. Petersburg College and love the field I am going into as an interpreter.
(The photo) is the first time I met Panama and the day before, I was able to meet four different deaf families and was able to communicate to them in ASL. The expression on their faces when they could relate to an animal was something I will never forget. I can’t wait to continue inspiring and building more relationships with the deaf community.”
Video title: Una Aventura en Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
Brandon used skills he learned at St. Petersburg College to explore the world.
Here’s how he described the experience shown in his winning video:
“This video is a collage of photos taken from my first vacation outside of the U.S. I have taken several Spanish classes at the SPC Clearwater Campus and have to personally thank Dr. Ojeda for his great work as a professor. I am speaking Spanish now with ease and some fluency, which is great considering I have been a Florida native all my life.”
Winners in the contest received various prizes provided by the college including iPad minis, iPod nanos and gift certificates. The Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College also provided gift certificates to finalists who were runners-up in the contest.
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