Born and raised in Irving Texas, twin sisters Joan “Jo” and Jane Bempong attended mainstream schools together from elementary through high school, and then decided to continue learning together in college when they were both accepted at Rochester Institute of Technology, supported by the university’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
At RIT they were able to live together, but follow different educational and career paths.
“I was always fascinated by technology,” Jo said. “Back in the day, MySpace piqued my interest in coding, so Computer Engineering seemed to be a good fit for me.”
But Jane had other interests. “I was always the person who people would come to for either advice or emotional support,” she said. “I always enjoyed being there for people ever since a young age, which is why majoring in psychology made sense for me.”
They plan to follow their different career interests after graduation, with Jo having accepted a full-time position at Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas, as a software engineer, and Jane either applying to graduate school or getting more work experience in the psychology/mental health field.
As they reflect on their time at RIT/NTID, Jo considers it the place where she grew as an individual.
“I came out of my comfort zone and became an entrepreneur, a researcher, and a leader aside from being an engineer,” she said.
And for Jane, “RIT helped confirm my career choice and increased my passion for the mental health field.”