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Phelele lost her hearing at a young age, but although she was not born Deaf, she is proud of her identity and loves speaking sign language and values Deaf culture. She was enrolled at the primary school for the Deaf at the age of 10. Although her native language is Swazi Sign Language, through her education at Gallaudet has become fluent in American Sign Language as well.

While in primary school, Phelele's leadership capabilities were evident, not only by the teachers, and staff, but the students as well. Her classmates and other students would seek her for advice and she was often busy mediating conflicts among the students. She is an avid dancer and helped the school's Drum-Majorette's team win the regional, and national dance competition in 2014.

In the ELI Program, she is a member of the Student Activities Committee, ELISO and spends her time assisting her fellow members in fundraising and planning and organizing events on campus.

Age 20, Shiselweni Region, Level 4

English Language Institute, Gallaudet University

Meet Phelele! 

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