Welcome!

 

My name is Alicia Castro,  I know we all have problems whether it involves money, relationships, job hunting, school, work, family, friends, and disability.  I created this website to share my story and help you embrace life.  Enjoy the little things you currently have.  You only get to live once.  Live life to the fullest and focus on the positive.  Never forget those who where there for you when nobody else was.  Live life to the fullest , think positive thoughts, and never forget who you are.

 

At age 9, I was diagnosed with bilateral reverse sensorineural hearing loss. I watched my classmates passing school grades without struggling.  My parents divorced and my father took off with my brother who is 9 years older than me.  I was raised by my mother, a single parent and lived in a garage.  My mother purchased my first pair of hearing aids at age 12.  By then, the public school system failed me.  My mother decided to enroll me at a Catholic school and repeated 5th grade (my mother’s decision).  Since then, I watched my mother work two jobs full-time as a machine operator.  The more I watched her work, the more I wanted to learn because I wanted to make her proud.  Instead of complaining, I stayed up late every night and woke up early to complete my homework.  I wanted to prove myself that my hearing loss does not define me.  It challenges me daily and I learned two important lessons in life – patience and hard work.

 

In 2014, I graduated from the University of La Verne, earned a master’s degree in Public Administration and borrowed $42,215 student loans.  I was unemployed for a year and my debt increased up to $48k.  Growing up with hearing loss, I always knew getting a degree would not be easy.  Especially being the first in the family to earn a bachelor’s and a master degree.  Who would have thought, a 9 year girl who lived in a garage, raised by a single mother is now debt-free and works full-time as a Human Resources Assistant for NASA.  Patience and hard work pays off.  Never stop believing in yourself and never forget those who helped you.

 

15 thoughts on “About

  1. Alicia is a well diversified individual. I known Alicia all my life and it gives me a great honor to be her brother. Alicia has had a tough road in education, because of her impairment, she has had to figure out how to study in her own ways. I noticed now that I am older how she has struggled during the years without me knowing much about impairment. I do have to admit, that I am guilt for her condition.

    To those of you who think little of family members that have a disability. Unlike, my lack of support during the years, I always bypassed my sister in several things, because I always thought it was something different that was the reason we did not communicate much. Had I put more effort and attention to her, she might be a more confident person, not that she isn’t.

    It is very important among family to help young individuals with a disability, instead of removing yourself from help she deserved, and for that I apologize to her for not realizing that I needed to help her more.

    Always respect and help people in one’s family, because I truely wish I would have turned out different with my sister. I feel responsible for her impairment and never did help her during such difficult times she had, and for that I am truely sorry, I love sister.

    1. Dear Brother,

      I thank God for sending me an angel who loves, protects, and mentors me everyday. No matter what, you are my brother and angel. It’s true that you did not pay attention to me in the past, but now you do. It’s never too late to help another. I appreciate everything you have done for me and for that I love you and will continue to love you as long as my heart can take it. So do me a favor, do not feel guilt or sorry for my hearing loss. Thanks to you, I have learned new ways how to communicate, embrace, and cherish every moment!

  2. Hi Alicia,

    Im Dan, and I’ve similar loss to you, bilateral sensoinaural. I also use hearing aids, but as you might guess, they give some benefit, but not very much!

    I’m from Ireland. I realized there was a hearing problem in my late-teens, and it was a tough time. As you know, this type of hearing loss, nerve related deafness, is particularly difficult, as hearing aids can only do so much, and lip-reading (or signing) is the only real alternative.

    Its good to know you can lip-read. I also learnt it by myself, although it’s not perfect, and I use subtitles (captions) on TV etc…

    I have a small business, and thankfully it is continuing to last as some people I work for are very understanding.

    I hope you achieve all you wish to achieve. I would like to know more about you, and am looking forward to reading more of your blogs.

    Keep up the good work !!

    1. Hi Dan,

      Thank you for the lovely introduction. I’ve never met, spoke, or wrote to a person from Ireland. You are the first. You are wonderful! Thanks for following and commenting on my blog. You definitely understand what I go through everyday as a bilateral sensoinaural hearing loss individual. I agree, hearing aids can only do so much. Some days are good but most of the time life can be frustrating because my hearing level changes depending on the environment and mood I’m experiencing. Most days, I feel so lonely because nobody understands why my emotions continue to change. The answer is because I’m tired of lip-reading, it’s part of my life and will always be.

      Many normal hearing people assume wearing hearing aids should make life easy to hear. What normal hearing people do not know is that there are five degrees of hearing loss for any age. We have the fourth level which is known as “severe hearing loss.” In other words, we will always have difficulty distinguishing sounds. A majority of people with bilateral sensoinaural struggle understanding sounds of different pitches while wearing hearing (this is why my mood continues to change and I can’t help it).

      My life would be miserable without watching TV with subtitles. I’m grateful we get the opportunity to enjoy our shows and movies with CC. Most of the time I’ll watch a movie in a different language because it makes me feel better (self-discovery). I don’t know if you prefer watching it with your own language or a different language. I would love to know.

      I’m happy to hear you run a small business. The fact that you work with amazing and understanding people is a plus. I grew tired of feeling abused, used, harassed, and discriminated on my previous jobs because of my hearing loss. That is a main reason why I quit my last job. Now I work for a federal job where everyone respects me. I’m still traumatized from experiences I went through in the work environment but each day I learn to trust people and embrace my hearing loss.

      Again, thank you for your kind words. You have reminded me why I started this blog and given me motivation to continue blogging. I’ll try to keep up the good work and look forward to continue blogging. I hope we can become friends and support each other. Please do let me know if there’s a subject or a story you wish to read from me. I’ll try writing more often. I wish you lots of blessings, health, and success 🙂

  3. Hi Alicia,

    Thanks for your invite to your website. It is great to hear from you again, and I must admit it has been too long, and it seems the world moves so quickly these days. I must apologize for not having been in touch.

    I hope you are still doing well, and enjoying your life, and your federal job. In the last year I’ve also landed a government job, and packed in my small business! It is a story in itself, but I can summarize it like this …. I ran a small business and it took me 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to keep it going. I was tired from lipreading/concentration and having full responsibility for everything!!! I got an offer of a clerical job on a 5-day week, and it didn’t take me long to decide to be honest …. BUT, I’m still very proud that I kept my own small business alive for over 3 years 🙂 …. I have a muscular disability as well as the hearing loss, and that was becoming more of an issue too.

    Anyway, there is an area I’m trying to adapt to right now, and I’m finding it difficult …. in my work now, I’m in an open plan room with about 10 people, and others coming and going all the time … it’s a big change for me!! When I was in business I only had to focus on one person at a time.

    The big risk (nearly every day) is that I find myself going quieter and quieter, because I’m not following the conversation, and I don’t want to be ‘interrupting’ … people are aware of my hearing, and they are nice about it, but I still miss soooo much of what is going on. It’s hard not to let it get me down, and at times it does. BUT, I’m stronger than that, it’s just trying to adapt is a battle.

    I guess it’s about embracing my hearing loss, just like you said ….

    Anyway, I would love to hear how you are getting on now, what new things you are doing and what successes or stories you have had.

    If you prefer, email me.

    Best wishes,
    Dan

    1. Hi Dan,

      Thank you for writing again. I haven’t blog for awhile and now I’m back at it. Wow, you did something most people wouldn’t do. Start a business and you kept it alive for 3 years. I know it wasn’t easy, especially having muscular and hearing loss disability. Do you mind me asking you, what type of hearing devices do you wear? Please visit my resources and click on Computer/Electronic Accommodation Programs. Click on the Deaf/Hard of Hearing category. You are eligible to receive free hearing device support accomodations. Like a headset and ComPilot. There’s a lot of free hearing devices available for people like us. I know a company offers free telephone with captions click here. There’s so much I want to share in this blog, I’ll keep adding new posts every week. My goal is to keep it consistency. I too work at a federal job, it is an open space and lip read a lot. I feel comfortable that way. You can do anything but not everything. Embrace your hearing loss and never forget who you are. If you don’t mind, I can add a post about your experiences in the work environment. I can add you as a guest blogger. This blog is for everyone. Feel free to email me too. Best wishes to you too. May we both succeed in our lives. Take care.

  4. Hello,

    I was just passing by your blog and I noticed your forum topic on LinkedIn. I was really surprised that I found a person who is HOH and a HR professional. I been looking for people who are deaf and HOH also work in HR. I even asked a relative who was in the field if she knew anyone who was deaf and HOH in HR. The relative could not think of anyone who could be in HR so I assumed there weren’t many HOH/deaf people in the field. I did Human Resources Development as my Master Degree. I do not work and unemployed myself right now, I’m still looking for work but I did created a blog that mostly focused around deafness and personal development.

    Thank you for your blog.

    1. Hi Janelle,

      You are correct, there aren’t many HOH/deaf people in the field. My previous boss at the Department of Veterans Affairs is deaf and works as an HR Specialist for Staffing/Recruitment. According to him, there are very few deaf individuals and more HOH individuals who work in the HR field. I believe that working in the HR field is hard, not impossible, and very rewarding. What helped me find a job in the HR field was to focus on learning new skills related to HR, teach myself how to use 2003, 2007. 2016 Word and Excel software. I wanted to catch up with today’s modern technology. We must continue to strive for success and never give up. If you want, I can take a look at your resume and provide feedback. There’s a way to get hired, all you need is to get an interview an ace it. I’m willing to help you for free. Let me help you find an HR job using your Master’s Degree. Also, what is your url blog? I would love to follow your site. I’m looking for guest bloggers. Maybe I can blog about helping you get hired 🙂 Let me know you if you’re interested. Thank you so much for reaching out to me and visiting my page.

  5. Dear Alicia,

    I am overwhelmed with your decision to become a better person in life. Your family must be proud of you. Hope they realize what an awesome person you seem to be. I also hope you haven’t forgotten the risk and unity your family went thru to guide you with your wishes and dreams. They seem like they really gave up every wish they had in order to help to whom you have become. I myself have gone thru hard times and once I realized how foolish and influenced by people, not of my family it was late for me to reunite with my family. I hear your story, please I mean nothing bad of these, just an advice to you to never forget where you come from and who truly helped you accomplish the status of your life. Boyfriend and Girlfriends come be replaced, but your true family can’t be replaced. I lost mine, please don’t loose yours.

    1. Dear John Doe,

      I understand what you mean. I lost my father 2 years ago. I miss him and not a day goes by how I wish we could communicate more. Now a days, I treasure what I have but family comes first. Thank you for your wonderful words. Don’t ever stop believing in yourself too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *