Humans of NGU: Marissa Holst

Taylor Deaton, News and Opinion Editor

Marissa Holst, sophomore at North Greenville University, is a face known to many around campus. She has a flair for making people laugh and showing immense kindness to those around her.

While Holst is known for her heart for others and the joy she brings to her friends, something unknown to some is that she is a CODA, or Child of a Deaf Adult.

Holst was born into a deaf family and uses her knowledge to education those around her.

After graduating from NGU, Holst plans to become an early interventionist with deaf babies.

Holst wants to meet with parents who have deaf children and let them know of their options in raising their child. 

“I personally would push for sign language and not make [the parents] feel forced to go for cochlear implants like most doctors would,” Holst states while explaining her future career goals. 

When asked why she wants to become an early interventionist, Holst explains that “growing up, [she’s] always seen children being deprived of language and it puts them behind in school, so as an early interventionist [she] can give them the option of multiple languages.”

Holst goes on to explain the importance of deaf-culture awareness specifically in schools because “kids are going to be faced with other kids who are deaf.”

“In the past,” Holst states, “society was trying to hide deaf people and exclude them, but now deaf people are making their presence known in the world.”

Holst especially takes interest in the interest shown for deaf-culture at NGU. 

“I’ve never seen so many people interested in [ASL] before I came to North Greenville. I came from a small town, people pretend like they are interested in it, but they really aren’t, and at North Greenville it’s exciting to see genuine interest in [ASL].”

Throughout her 20 years of life, Holst has gone through many different experiences, and she enjoys sharing those experiences with friends.  

“I always like making people laugh, so the way I can share my experience with having a deaf family is through deaf jokes,” Holst shares.

Holst laughs while explaining that, “the worst thing about having a deaf family is that when you run out of toilet paper you can’t really call out for more.”

While Holst knows how to have a good time, she is also very aware of the hardships her family has faced.

“Having deaf parents has opened my eyes,” Holst shares.

She goes on to explain that, “deaf people are a minority and they do face discrimination in our society. Seeing this discrimination within [her] family has allowed [her] to be more open-minded to others and to really get to know a person before labeling them as unfit for our society.”

Along with this, Holst has “really gotten to know a lot of people through [her] parents and [she] is truly grateful for that.”

“Even though we’re all different, we are living in the same world, so we need to put our differences aside and do better to help each other,” Holst finishes.

Photo courtesy of Marissa Holst

Photo courtesy of Marissa Holst