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Speaker offers encouragement to Oklahoma middle school students

Cassandra Oakes, who is blind and deaf, spoke to students at Putnam City's Western Oaks Middle School in Bethany on Monday.
by Matt Patterson Modified: April 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm •  Published: April 9, 2013

“I think it would have been easy for her not to try,” Lovelady said. “She has an amazing attitude, and that's the most important thing that I learned from it.”

Oakes has four children and six grandchildren. She founded the Sight-Hearing Encouragement Program, which works with deaf and blind kids to show them they can reach their potential.

“She has a great story,” eighth-grader Trey Gooch said. “I just can't imagine being blind or deaf and having to rise above that, but she has done that.”

Oakes said her goal when speaking to kids is to instill confidence.

“When I was a kid I was just like them, and everyone told me I couldn't do it, but I kept trying,” Oakes said. “There's no reason not to try. That's what I want them to know.”

by Matt Patterson
Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun....
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