For Immediate Release
December 10, 2020
Hearing Loss No Obstacle for Suffolk Culinary's Abigail Bethon, Scholar and Future Bakery Owner
L to R: Cassie Raguso, Mill Neck Interpreters; Jennifer Forni, Suffolk County Community College Director of Disability Services; Abigail Bethon, Gilbert Scholar, Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Program; Gary Joel Schacker, Chairman, Gilbert Fund Committee for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Suffolk Community College Foundation and Principal, United Realty; Sylvia A. Diaz, PhD, LMSW, Executive Director, Suffolk Community College Foundation and; Christopher A. Williams, Esq., Director of Development, Suffolk Community College Foundation.
Abigail Bethon of Port Washington is the proud recipient of the Suffolk Community College Foundation's 2018 Gilbert Committee Scholarship. The Gilbert Committee established a scholarship in 1978 to support eligible students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The award is $ 2,500 per year for a new student and two $1,250 awards for continuing students.
Abigail, an aspiring baker in the Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts program, emigrated from China at age 6 to an adoptive Long Island family. Born profoundly deaf, Abigail was fitted with cochlear implants. At Suffolk, Abigail is registered with the Office of Disability Services and utilizes the services of the sign language interpreters and CART services when in class. CART services provide the translation of the spoken word into text which can then be viewed on a computer monitor or other screen, in real time.
The College provides these services, as well as other accommodations, to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and registered with the Office of Disability Services.
A graduate of the Mill Neck Manor School, Abigail, now 23, dreams of one day opening her own bakery.
About the Suffolk Community College Foundation and Gilbert Committee
The Suffolk Community College Foundation is a non-profit corporation formed to develop additional resources that enable the College to provide quality educational experiences for its students. When you donate to the SCC Foundation, your gift will help provide scholarships, emergency student loans, support for unique academic enrichment programs, special projects for faculty and staff development, and efforts to enhance the community's awareness of the College and its services.
The Gilbert Committee of the Suffolk Community College Foundation was established in 1978 with a generous gift from the Estate of Henry A. Gilbert, a prominent resident of Setauket, to support eligible students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Until recently, the fund was used primarily for the support of various campus initiatives to assist deaf students including purchases of technologies to assist classroom interaction. In 2018, the Foundation’s Board of Directors authorized the creation of the Gilbert Fund Scholarship for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing.