(RALEIGH, NC) – College campuses all over the country are buzzing with excitement, music and celebration as graduates prepare to walk across commencement stages this month. Proud parents and loved ones will cheer as they hear their graduates name called from the stage. Every motivational word spoken by guest speakers will resonate through crowds of tomorrow’s leaders on this special day.
Yet, one graduating senior and All-American football player at Saint Augustine’s University celebrated his accomplishments in silence.
At the age of three, Javarous Faulk’s mother noticed that her son may have been losing his hearing. Today, Faulk is only able to hear sounds and tones through a hearing aid.
Faulk did not let his hearing impairment stop him from obtaining a college degree. On May 4, Faulk earned his Bachelor of Science degree in human performance and wellness.
“I admire Javarous’ tenacity to overcome the obstacle of being hearing impaired,” said Dr. Derrick Sauls, department chair for SAU’s Physical Education, Exercise Science and Athletic Training. “I have watched him continually meet challenges in the classroom, yet he never gave up on himself.”
Not only did Faulk not let his hearing impairment stop him from earning his degree, but he also did not let it hinder him on the football field.
“Faulk was one of my better players,” said Tremayne Henry, defensive line coordinator for the Falcon Football Team. “He would always be in the office watching game film. He would do whatever he needed to do to perform better on the field.”
Coach Henry shared how he and Faulk communicated each game.
“We had developed various hand signals I would give him from the sidelines,” Henry said. “After each play, he would look at me and I would give him thumbs-up or thumbs-down. He always wanted to be reassured that he was performing well.”
Henry further commented on how he felt when Faulk received his diploma.
“When he walked across the stage at commencement, I felt as if he was one of my own children,” Henry said. “After the ceremony, I told him how proud I was of him and that I loved him.”
Faulk, a native of Macon, Ga., played defensive end on the Falcon Football Team. In 2012, Faulk, who was an All-American player, tied the university’s single-season sack record. Some of his outstanding plays led to other accolades including the Black College Sports Page All-America Third Team, the Don Hansen All-Super Region One Third Team and the All-CIAA First Team. He was also a nominee for the Gene Upshaw Award which goes to the NCAA Division II Lineman of the Year. Entering the 2013 season, he was named to the USA College Football Division II Pre-Season All-America Second Team.
What inspires Faulk to succeed?
“Naysayers, my family and people that look up to me,” wrote Faulk. “Graduating from college was really exciting for me. There was a sense of relief at being done with countless assignments and a sense of accomplishment in earning my degree.”
Faulk has big plans for his future.
“I want to continue my education,” Faulk wrote. “I want other hearing impaired individuals to know that whatever I accomplish that they can do it too.”