Andrea Sonnier was born in Lafayette, Louisiana. Deaf from birth, Andrea's first language was American Sign Language. From an early age, she expressed enthusiasm to reach out and excel. Armed with a set of hearing aids and the services of her interpreter, she never held herself back from reaching out to others, asking questions, making friends and working at communicating with her peers and teachers.
Individuals who know Andrea have expressed their admiration for her work ethic, leadership skills and academic performance as a student at Louisiana State University (LSU). Andrea is the first Student at LSU to work toward certification as a Distinguished Communicator, a feature of LSU's Communication across the Curriculum program that requires outstanding skills in written, spoken, visual and technological communication.
Andrea puts her communication skills to good use as a volunteer tutor at the Louisiana School for the Deaf where she works with students on academic subjects and extra curricular activities. She also is a volunteer at the LSU Disability Services office; sharing her knowledge and experience with incoming students who have disabilities and their parents.
Andrea enrolled as an undergraduate at LSU in August 2008. She is currently a senior and is working towards a Bachelor's Degree in Education. She is the current Miss Jazzland 2010 for Louisiana and Lafayette, and won this title with Deaf Literacy as her platform. She also competed in the 2010 Miss Louisiana pageant and was voted Miss Congeniality by her peers. At the pageant, Andrea won honorable mention for her talent performance in interpretive dance.
Andrea is a member if the Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society and was also the first undergraduate student to be an invited presenter at the annual National Mardi Gras Conference sponsored by the English Graduate Student Association.
The often cited charm of her personality, her friendliness and ability to share knowledge with others across communication barriers speaks well of her desire to improve quality standards for students with diverse and special needs.
Andrea's efforts and positive influence in the Deaf Community are felt throughout Baton Rouge, Lafayette, LSU and the state of Louisiana. Hamilton Relay is pleased to award Andrea Sonnier our 2010 Deaf Community Leader Award for Louisiana, and wish her continued success in her endeavors.
This leadership recognition has been brought to you by Hamilton Relay.
About Hamilton Relay
Hamilton Relay offers a variety of services including Telecommunications Relay Services, Captioned Telephone, and Internet Relay services. Hamilton provides Telecommunications Relay and/or Captioned Telephone services to 18 states, the District of Columbia, the Island of Saipan and the Virgin Islands. More information is available at hamiltonrelay.com.