November 04, 2010

Staying Involved on Campus - Civil Engineering Technology Student Starts Sign Language Club

Bryan Webb working with students in the Mission Hill After-School Program

Bryan Webb, BCET ’13, would probably try and solve all the world’s problems if he had enough time. Just a sophomore, he’s already founded the first-ever sign language club (watch video) on campus, risen to director of Wentworth’s Mission Hill After-School Program, and is actively working with Professor Jerry Hopcroft as part of the Change for Chirimoto program, a large-scale service-learning project for a small town in Peru.

“I’ve always liked problem solving, and when I came up against a challenge, I’ve always known how to find a solution. And that’s the kind of the engineering mindset that you have to have.”

Sometimes, as in the case of his founding of the sign language club, the simplest answer is the best. “Wentworth didn’t have a sign language club, so I found my way around it: I started one.” Although he is not hearing impaired, Webb founded the club as a freshman to promote tolerance and understanding of deaf culture, a subject that he feels strongly about. 

Not unlike the progression of raising awareness for the club’s mission, Webb concerns himself with the care and development of Boston’s underprivileged youth. As the director of the Mission Hill After-School Program in association with the Center for Community and Learning Partnerships, Webb spends his afternoons with a classroom full of kids. His hands are full; whether he’s helping with times tables or handing out juice boxes, his passion for children is evident. “I loved it—I got really involved,” says Webb of his first year working in the program. “I went every day of the week, as many times as I could to try to help out.  It was just a lot of fun.” After Webb’s first year, his role as director was instituted, and he is now responsible for facilitating Wentworth’s collaborative relationship with Harvard, the organization that runs the program, as well as recruiting Wentworth students to volunteer.

Webb has felt an enormous amount of support and encouragement from his friends and professors. “It’s really helped me to do all these things that I’m doing here,” he says of his strong relationships. “There are some really great professors that care about you and want you to succeed. I have all of these people in my life that want to help me. It’s a great feeling.”

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