LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Josh Hembrough is considered a dedicated person who turned his dreams into a reality. Even though Hembrough was born deaf, he continues to chase his goals.
His most recent accomplishment includes winning two gold medals in the 2013 Deaflympics in Sofia Bulgaria. He won a gold medal in 110 meter high hurdles and a second in the 4x100 meter relay. Hembrough even won two bronze medals in the 100 meter dash and 4x400 meter relay. This was his second time participating in the Deaflympics.
"Four years of training and hard work. (It's as) Simple as some tears. It was rewarding to receive the gold medal,” said Hembrough.
Hembrough ran track for four years at Purdue and graduated in 2012. He said he wanted to stay in Lafayette because of the connections and relationships he has made. Now, Hembrough is teaching health to 8th grade students at Tecumseh Junior High School. Principal, Brandon Hawkins, said the students always seem engaged in learning in Hembrough's classroom.
"It was very clear from the beginning he was very professional and also had a great enthusiasm for teaching,” said Hawkins.
Hembrough said teaching has been a dream of his since the 7th grade. His role model was his middle school P.E. teacher, who was also his high school track coach. Hembrough said he wants to inspire students the same way his coach inspired him.
"So, I'm sure when the students saw the medals, they were thinking, 'Wow, if he can do this, then I can definitely do something for myself,'” said Hembrough.
Hembrough said the first week in school started off well, but said there are a couple obstacles of he needs to overcome.
"It definitely can be a little difficult sometimes, not being able to hear certain students that have soft voices, but its a good chance for me (I always find a way) to overcome a challenge," said Hembrough.
Hembrough said he can take his accomplishments and use them in the classroom. He wants to show students that anyone can achieve their dreams if they set their minds to it.
Hembrough said he plans on participating in the next Deaflympics in four years. He said he hopes to coach track and field this spring in the Lafayette School Corporation.
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