Kylie Palak: ASL as a Passion


Kylie Palak, a junior at North Forsyth High School, recently signed the national anthem at the Atlanta United soccer game. “Once you find a passion that makes you smile this hard, stick with it,” she says.

Abby Marks, Features Editor

North Forsyth High School’s halls are littered with students who hold unique talents and abilities. From musicians and theater lovers to academic geniuses and foreign language experts, there are many students at North who rise above and beyond and use their talents to reach others. One such student is Kylie Palak, who can communicate by American Sign Language and uses her ability to sign the national anthem anywhere from home football games to Atlanta United soccer games and connect with those who are deaf.

She began signing as a baby with ASL being her first language. Her dad has been deaf since he was just three months old, and sign language is the only way she will ever be able to communicate with him. To Palak, “sign language isn’t just communication with [her] hands. . .It’s the way [she] communicates with [her] favorite person on the planet (her dad).”

Recently, Palak had the incredible opportunity to sign the national anthem at the Atlanta United soccer game. She describes it as an amazing experience. “I wasn’t nervous at all,” she says. “I had the time of my life and I felt so good doing what I love for thousands of people.” Signing the anthem isn’t anything new for Palak. Every Friday night, Kylie signs the anthem for home football games. She loves it because she gets to “share [her] culture with all of [her] peers and express [her] passion every week, and nothing is better.”

Palak wants sign language to be a part of her in anything she does in life. When she grows up, she either wants to teach sign language or be an interpreter, or even do both. If anything, Kylie wants people to know that people who are deaf can do anything that anyone else can do. She is leaving her legacy at North by expanding her culture and teaching others, and by expressing a talent which not many people can relate to.