Choosing Direction

In December, I graduated from University of Maryland University College with a degree in business administration. At the same time, my job at Whole Foods has changed slightly. In addition to being a cook, I also became trained at being a buyer for the department, which is a much different job. It’s nice to get away from the cooking (and customers) at least two times a week.

I owe a lot to John Niparko, my CI surgeon, for getting that degree. I had not attended school for about two years when I began Jacob’s Ride in 2013. After the ride, Niparko implored me to re-enter school. He was the type of person who does not like to listen to excuses or rationalizations, so he surprised me in the form a personal check to subsidize the cost of my tuition for two semesters. That began the three-year return to school.

Now that I’m out of school, I am still working at Whole Foods, and I am enjoying friendships, fellowship, going out to dinner, dancing lessons, powerlifting, and a score of activities. My life has never felt fuller. It’s been challenging to spend time on Jacob’s Ride. I’ve been asking myself hard questions about what type of work/life balance is good for me and whether this should be treated as a job (full or part-time) or as a calling. The answers have been coming to me slowly.

An idea that has been manifested through my experience at Hopkins for what I would like to transition Jacob’s Ride into is this: a hub for parents to become informed on the truths and realities of cochlear implants. And armed with information, I would like Jacob’s Ride to provide a toolkit to parents so that that they can properly advocate for the child to get the rehab or the services that they need. This would be primarily online-based.

Feedback is always welcomed.

Sarah Jane Dunaway