Havelock student graduates from School for the Deaf

Jason Moore couldn’t contain his joy.

The 21-year-old from Havelock was one of three graduates Friday at commencement exercises at the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf in Wilson.

Moore was the recipient of the Deaf Ministry Outstanding Senior Award and the James F. Massey award for his unflappable enthusiasm known to all students at the school for the deaf and hard of hearing.

According to his mother, Rebecca Moore, an employee on the orthopedic floor at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern, her son came to the school eight years ago.

“He went to Havelock Elementary and to Havelock High before he came here,” she said.

She choked back tears of joy herself when describing the tremendous advances her son made since arriving at the school.

“I’m so proud of him,” she said. “He’s grown and learned a lot.”

She said to appreciate how far her son has come, one has to know his past.

“When he was a child, things were difficult for him because of his hearing loss. He had to do about five years of occupational therapy because he had to learn to walk. Your balance is in your ears, so he had a real hard time walking,” she said. “So once he learned to walk and get around, there was no stopping him. He loved the beach. He loved games.”

Conventional school proved a challenge for the young Jason, his mother said.

“He was the only deaf person in his class, so I knew he needed to be with people who could communicate with him to help him out more,” she said. “I was happy to finally get him in here. It took a little while though.”

At the school for the deaf, he was able to communicate with everyone.

“It was like a whole new world opened up for him because everyone here was capable of signing, which was his only real way of communication,” she said. “It was a big difference for him.”

He was able to grow emotionally and academically because he was able to learn, his mother said.

“It was easier for him to learn how to read, add, subtract and all the things that a child should learn to do when you have someone who can actually communicate with you,” she said. “If you don’t know how to sign with him, he doesn’t know what you’re saying. He had to use gestures in the public school and pictures. So here, his signing is like words, so it made it a whole lot easier for him to talk to everybody and for him to talk back.”

She called the state-funded school “a God-given blessing.”

“When you have a child with any kind of difficulties or deafness, they are really a blessing,” Moore said. “All the tears I shed were worth wiping when he came here. To see my son being able to read and write, you have no idea how that makes me feel. It’s a wonderful feeling and it’s because of this school and the teachers, and I am so thankful.”

She said her is returning to Havelock to their residence on Charles Street after the graduation.

“He knows Havelock. He knows his home. He talks about Havelock High all the time and friends and the teachers that he had there,” she said. “I am going to let him enjoy his summer then we’ve got to mentor and a job coach set up to see what we’re going to do afterward. He wants to go to college. We are going to see how all that goes.”