Deidra Roth is a 21-year-old student Communication Sciences and Disorders major at Purdue Fort Wayne. When she graduates, she hopes to pursue her Doctorate in Audiology. Deidra loves science and has always excelled in it. When she was younger, she thought she wanted to do engineering until she started taking American Sign Language classes in high school. She fell in love with the language and then one day her teacher brought in a school audiologist to present. When the school audiologist spoke of her career, Deidra’s interest was piqued. She found the anatomy of the ear a fascinating subject and she also had fun trying her hand at proctoring a hearing test. She was sold then on the profession of audiology.
Deidra grew up in Monticello, Indiana. She describes it as “a typical small town that no one’s ever heard of.” As soon as she brings up Indiana Beach, though, people register where she grew up. Deidra’s parents were often working when she was a child, so she grew up as a latchkey kid, learning early on how to care for herself. Her mom worked in food service while her dad was a union worker. She also had her grandparents to rely on and spent a lot of time with them growing up. She was incredibly involved in school activities as well, doing everything from softball to theater to dance marathon. Deidra has two sisters and one brother, all at least eight years older than her.
Getting into college has been the biggest impact in Deidra’s life. “There was a point I didn’t think I’d make it past 18 years old,” Deidra said. She has always struggled with some mental health challenges but is in a better place now and keeps herself quite busy with college. On top of her major, she is also pursuing a certificate in gerontology. She has multiple jobs on-campus including working for Purdue Housing, working for the TRIO office, being a peer mentor to first-year students, and working as a tour guide for the admissions office. She also is involved with a variety of extracurricular activities on-campus. Deidra is so grateful that she got this far in life and wants to make the most of her college experience.
With the help from her case manager from Lutheran Social Services, Deidra focused on finances, such as understanding credit cards and credit scores as well as focusing on budgeting. Before Persistence Pays Off, she had no knowledge of credit and says she could be bad about dropping money on things she did not need. “I understand credit so much more now which has led me to keeping my credit score up and understanding what motivates that credit score. Furthermore, not only has it helped me understand finances a little bit more, but it gave me the financial assistance where I did not have to worry about cutting something out like cutting down on classes that would further extend my degree period or taking a semester off,” Deidra said.
Her dreams for when she graduates are to pursue her Doctorate in Audiology and start her career as an audiologist. She has considered working in private practice such as an Ear Nose Throat office, working in the medical field, or working with the older population at Veterans Affairs. She also hopes to one day travel the world; Australia and New Zealand are bucket list locations for her. Deidra is open to where her career will take her and all the possibilities that life brings.