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Student is First Deaf USD Graduate

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North County Times -- It wasn't always easy, John-Paul Damante said, but making his way through four years of college to become the first deaf student to graduate from the University of San Diego probably will not be the biggest accomplishment of his life.

For now, though, the 22-year-old Valley Center resident is proud of himself -- within reason.

"Honestly, I don't really see it as a big deal that I'm the first deaf student to graduate from USD," Damante said in an e-mail interview. "I see myself as just one of the students graduating. My family and friends are amazed by what I have done, but for me, I'm just proud that I was able to stay motivated and committed to finish my education."

Damante joins his fellow graduates in ceremonies Sunday at USD, having earned a degree in communications studies with a minor in theater arts. Along the way, Damante said, USD did its best to accommodate him and to make things easier, providing real-time captioning for him in his classes. (Full Story)

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