Delaney York wants to be a gamechanger. It’s advice from her mom, Sheri York, and, maybe unlike most other teenagers, Delaney took it to heart.
“She said I should be a gamechanger on the field and in the Kingdom,” the 18-year-old Elgin High School Senior Class President said. “I was raised in church and it’s a big part of my life.”
As a freshman at Katy High School in Texas, Delaney discovered her passion and after graduating from EHS next month will start a path to make it her life’s mission. She wants to be a gamechanger in the deaf community.
“Katy [High School] offered American Sign Language as part of their foreign language program. I took it and fell in love with it,” she said. “My freshman year we went to deaf socials. Our teacher was involved in the deaf community. She would call friends to meet us at the mall and we would communicate with them.
“The biggest thing for me is acceptance for everyone. So many in the deaf community feel isolated because we live in a hearing world. My calling to them is to show individuals that we know and that we see them. Being unable to hear doesn’t stop a deaf person from being just as successful as anyone else,” she said.
Delaney plans to attend Missouri State University and earn a master’s degree in education of the deaf and hard of hearing. In the future, as an educator, she would like to teach and coach at a deaf and hard of hearing school.
She is the daughter of Todd and Sheri York and has four siblings; two older brothers, Dakota and Gatlin; an older sister, Mikylin; and a younger sister, Kenley. The family moved to Elgin when Delaney was a sophomore.
“When we moved here, I wanted to get involved as quickly as I could because I knew I didn’t have a lot of time left until graduation. I wanted to try and jump right in,” she said.
Delaney is a dedicated athlete, having participated in cross country, soccer and track from her sophomore to senior years. In addition to her membership at Crossroads Baptist Church, she joined Fellowship of Christian Athletes and began showing her leadership skills by serving as president from 2019 to present day. Also serving in a leadership role, she became junior class president at EHS and then senior class president. She is also serving on the Church Youth Council. She played basketball and is on the trap shooting team and is also a member of FFA (Future Farmers of America).
Asked which sport or activity she has enjoyed the most, she said she enjoys them all.
“I wanted to get involved as much as I could and I love it.”
Delaney also has had the honor of serving on State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister’s Student Advisory Council the last two years.
“Through being a part of the State Superintendent’s Student Council I have had the opportunity to represent Elgin. We get together and discuss the positives and negatives of schools in Oklahoma. We have covered every way, from our experience as students, where things can be fixed or improved. As part of the Superintendent’s Council, we get multiple student perspectives from small schools to big schools and see how the state can help out. Joy Hofmeister and her team reaches out to us to see how she can best benefit the students,” she said.
Although the pandemic has been difficult and frustrating, Delaney said one of the nice things about the time period is the quality family time they have been able to enjoy.
“Mom is my mentor. Any of the situations we’ve ever gone through, mom is always involved at home and at school. She’s our rock. She’s our stability when things get hard. She always has just the right words to say and knows how to comfort us,” Delaney said.
With that stability supporting her and trust in God, Delaney said she doesn’t have a lot of fear graduating into a scary, unknown world.
“It’s all about finding joy in the journey and having faith in what He has planned,” she said.