The “47” Alumni board is honored to establish the Dorothy Pakula Educational Fund in honor of our beloved former president, board member and public relations chair, Dorothy Pakula.
Dorothy never gave up hope for each person from all walks of life she met. No matter where she met them, she would encourage them to go back to school to get their degrees. She had the ability to help deaf students to feel more self-confident and wanting to learn more.
Dorothy received her general equivalency diploma (GED), and then was the first Deaf “47” alumna to get an associate’s degree at LaGuardia Community College in 1974. As a LaGuardia student, she requested support services, something rarely done in those days. After graduation, she worked as a paraprofessional at JHS 47 until her retirement. She also was a part-time tutor for deaf students in La Guardia Community College’s Deaf Adults Program and then eventually became the coordinator of tutorial services there. She traveled the world a great deal with her husband, William.
Dorothy was like everyone’s mother. One of her former students wrote about Dorothy’s passing, “I looked up at the sky and signed, ‘I love you’ and I will always remember you. You were a strong lady and believe in us. My mom! I miss you.”