2017 CID graduate Jocelyn Westerfeld trained hard to earn her place on Team USA. When she and her family headed to Wales in October 2022 to participate in the WKU World Championship Karate Tournament, they didn’t know what to expect.
Then the seventh-grader proceeded to win some challenging matches and become a world champion, earning two Gold medals and two Silver medals.
Jocelyn has trained in the art of Isshinryu karate since she was 7, inspired when a martial arts school visited CID to do a demonstration.
Her family, friends and teachers are over the moon with pride. At the qualifying event, only four individuals from the U.S. were selected in each division to compete in the world championship.
Jocelyn’s parents did not learn she was deaf until she was nearly 3 years old. Her speech was almost unintelligible to everyone but her closest family members. The school district told them to get hearing aids and put her in school; she’d be fine. She was not fine. After a year, behavioral issues persisted and she still struggled with her speech.
The Westerfelds found CID in 2014 after reading an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about its centennial celebration. They enrolled her in the CID school, and she began to respond almost immediately. Within the next three years, she received two cochlear implants. Her speech improved dramatically and she more than caught up to grade level with her peers who could hear.
She graduated from CID at age 7 with a President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence. Now she attends a mainstream high school near her home. She is a National Honor Society inductee and a Girl Scout, who continues to win awards at karate meets. She loves to read and discuss big thoughts and ideas.