After giving a speech last week at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md. (the event where he duffed the tech-savvy legacy of President Rutherford B. Hayes), President Obama was working the rope line off the stage when he was approached by a 26-year-old student named Stephon.
Stephon, who is deaf, was captured on video speaking to the president in American Sign Language. He told Obama, “I am proud of you.” Obama responded in kind, signing “Thank you” to Stephon’s visible delight.
Later that day, Stephon uploaded a video in which he elaborated on the exchange.
The website Distriction caught wind yesterday of both Stephon’s interaction with Obama and his followup and asked the student to provide a translation of his message:
Hello, I would love to share my experience; something that I will not forget for rest of my life. Today was a special day for me, and I was preparing for it. It was announced yesterday, March 14, for everyone to receive tickets to see none other than the President of the United States, Barack Obama!
When I got ready to get up the morning at 7 am, I did not rush and took my time since the admission started at 8:30 am. I ate some breakfast and got onto the train to get to Prince George’s Community College. When I got there, there was such a long line and I got so worried that I wouldn’t get a good seat to be able to see my interpreter! How was it possible for me to understand what Obama had to say?!
I decided to let go of my nerves and went with the flow. I waited in line to go through security. Security was almost like security at the airport. It was the first time for me to experience that kind of security outside an airport. Of course, I have been to airports numerous times, but it was my first time to have that kind of experience on my college campus. I was not used to it. I saw the actual Secret Service, and you could feel how serious and strict they were, much different than dealing with county and even state police! You could tell they were not playing around.
When I got in, I took many videos. What amazed me is that it took two hours to make it just right before Obama started. I did not realize how great of seats there were for us deaf people. Right front of Obama. I sat in VIP with the Governor Martin O’Malley and many other important people. So, it started at about 11. Obama was right front of me. I was ready to jump up and walk toward him and shake his hand. Could you imagine how the Secret Service would’ve responded? When I watched Obama give his speech on the stage I thought to myself,