Digital Original: ‘Deaf Ninja’ inspires and challenges local youth

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Kyle Schulze grew up as the only deaf member of his family. Not only that, he was also the only deaf student at his schools growing up. This created challenges for him, as others around him treated him differently.

Schulze was often told by his peers he ‘couldn’t’ do activities like sports, because he was deaf.

He used this doubt as motivation to train for years to compete on the reality show, ‘American Ninja Warrior’. Schulze has competed three times on the show, and qualified for the National finals in his second year. Schulze says his family and friends have always encouraged him to chase his dreams, something he hopes to show others who are deaf or hard of hearing through telling his story.

Children and parents of the Minot and surrounding areas came to the Minot State University Wellness Center and listened to Kyle’s story. After the session, the kids got to take part in obstacle courses and test their strength and endurance.

Stephanie Marrufo, a mother attending the event with her 4 year-old son Silas, says it is inspirational to see someone in a similar situation to her son’s succeed on such a large stage.

“Living in smaller town, we don’t see as much about people who are deaf or hard of hearing locally. Especially someone who has made such significant accomplishments”, Marrufo explains. “So for my son to see somebody who he can recognize, that uses sign language just like we do, it really brings it full circle just how big the world is and how much is out there.”

Schulze’s goals for the future include competing for the title of American Ninja Warrior for a fourth time, and to speak to people all over the world and inspire them to chase their dreams.

For more information about Kyle Schulze and his upcoming events, visit his Facebook page.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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