My name is Ruth, and I am a Black Deaf baker…among other things. I grew up baking with my mother and everything I know, I learned from her. She had great pride in making everything from scratch and didn’t allow boxed cake mixes to disgrace her kitchen counters. For this, I am glad. Nothing beats homemade baked goods.

I bake when I am sad. I bake when I am full of joy. Seeing people do a happy dance while devouring my food, makes me feel alive. Suddenly, I feel seen; I feel needed. When I am using my God-given talents, oh my goodness, it feels surreal. My happy place is with a mixing bowl and a dash of Sass.

My Why

Welcome to my bio! I'm going to share my WHY and my passion for creating Bake it With Sass.

I grew up in a hearing household with no knowledge of ASL or Deaf culture. I had no idea that existed until I was in middle school. By that time, I was used to pretending to be hearing. I used my voice not my hands to communicate with everyone I met. I had hearing friends and could blend in fairly well, unless I was in a crowded room or the lights were dim - then I was in trouble. 

Multiple times, I remember leaving my hearing aids at home and trying my best to understand what my teachers and friends were saying without actually hearing them. It didn't go well. Actually, that's an understatement. It went horribly every time but for some strange reason, I thought if I tried harder to be like my friends, I wouldn't be different anymore. 

Most people don't realize that reading lips is difficult. It's not something that I love doing but I learned how to do out of necessity. If I didn't read lips today, I wouldn't be able to understand most of what people are saying. 

Growing up, being deaf sucked! I lived a lie most of the time and when I tried to reveal my deafness and let people know what I needed in order to succeed, I was put down or ignored. So, I learned early on, not to talk about it. 

Fast forward to college and I joined an ASL choir and met others who were hard of hearing or d/Deaf. For the first time, I had friends who cared to get to know the real Ruth. They didn't act like I carried a plague or was too weird for them. They reached out, invited me to events with them and just simply cared. Funny how you don't really know what you're looking for until you find it. THIS is what I had been praying for in high school -- I just didn't know what it would feel like to have friends who cared. 

In college, I blossomed so fast and made the decision to continue using ASL and asked to try out Gallaudet University, my Junior year. Surprisingly, my parents and faculty at Ithaca College said yes! 

Gallaudet University was my first real experience in the Deaf World 24/7. I had started taking ASL classes my Freshman year of HS at the American School for the Deaf but I was only there for a couple of hours a week. At Gallaudet, it was full immersion. It was here where I could leave my hearing aids at home and be ABSOLUTLEY FINE. I was better than fine! I had access to language and a community of people who had similar interests and experiences. I met teachers who encouraged me in my passions. I was in awe at how much at home I felt here and within a couple of months, using ASL became more natural. I found where I belonged.

Fast forwarding again to post graduation and beginning my career -- I didn't really know what I wanted to do other than write a book. I worked for various non-profit organizations and had some part-time positions in retail and fast food along the way. 

2020 - as you all know was a hard year. I think everyone experienced a death in the family and/or hardships in their personal life. I had lost my job and felt like I was drifting through life without knowing my purpose. 

I love cooking and baking and thought I would look for new recipes to try as I spent my days researching companies to apply to. I had a part time job teaching ASL but it wasn't enough hours and there was no guarantee that it would become full time. 

I searched for cooking and baking videos in ASL and found a few -- mostly by students. Their signing was oookkkkkk but most had no captions. I could understand the videos well enough, but I wondered about people who didn't know ASL or who wanted to learn. Learning how to sign is hard and it doesn't make it easier trying to watch a video in ASL with no captions. God put the idea in my head to create my own, but my first thought was "Nooo way, I don't even know how to edit videos." When God says to do something, you don't say no. He will find a way to help you say yes. The more I thought about it and the more research I did to see if I could INDEED do this - I ran out of excuses. I was bored. I had a part time job. I had a kitchen and all the tools I needed. I had NO legitimate excuse NOT to. So... I DID! 

I uploaded my first video to my new YouTube channel - The Sassy Baker and before I knew it, my friends were asking me to make more. While it was time consuming since video editing is not my forte - I really enjoyed it. I even added some Deaf Culture information in it since so many hearing people don't know anything about it. 

Soon I realized, this is my passion. I loved teaching others about my culture and my language in addition to my love for baking. I was able to combine two passions! The novel I had started writing my Senior year of college was also about combining two passions - writing and Deaf culture. 

My other reasoning for creating this business is to generate money for my nonprofit organization. It will be a community center for Deaf and hard of hearing children. I don't want anyone else to grow up like I did. I don't want other Deaf and hard of hearing children to believe they are worthless, or their voice is meaningless or that they should act hearing. NO! God created us Deaf and hard of hearing for a reason! I firmly believe that. If I was born hearing, I wouldn't have the passion to reach people who don't know anything about Deaf life. 

I have no idea where God is leading me with that idea, but it burns in my head and in my heart. I tear up thinking about it. Being Deaf is a beautiful thing and I want to help others see their potential. 

However, God made you - is a beautiful thing. Don't let others tell you differently. 




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