Deaf Club, has received city, state and congressional proclamations and accommodations for their commitment to strengthen our NYC community through volunteer services. Dejonae 'DJ' Jenkins is an actress, hip hop dancer, petite model, anti-bullying activist and 'Hard of Hearing' member of the Deaf Community. Dejonae was forced to attend a mainstream school with hearing students. She had to face many challenges throughout elementary and high school, bullied and humiliated because of her deafness.
To avoid further embarrassment, she rebuffed her deafness and withdrew from using sign language to communicate. She entered speech therapy and had no involvement with the Deaf Community for years thereafter. She studied drama and dance in high school and at Rio Hondo Community College.
It was not until she joined Deafinit Models in that DJ was able to embrace her deafness, improve her signing skills, and pursue her silent dreams of modeling, acting and dancing. As a model, Dejonae trained under the late Michael Maddox, famed runway director, and was coached by Twin of a Kind Models. She has shot numerous editorials. She landed her first principal acting role in an episode of Freeform's Switched At Birth.
She was then cast in the lead role as Andrea in the short film Dark Thinker. She made a name for herself after partnering with The Special Needs Network in and became an anti-bullying activist. Dejonae delivered an impassioned and empowering speech at the iStand4Peace Summit before students and a group of clinical professionals from UCLA. During her leisure time, she enjoys the outdoors and is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and learning more about real world urban survival skills.
She is also a new mother of a precious baby girl named Abigail. Yvonnia has been modeling for more than 14 years. After completing the model training at Barbizon School of Modeling, she started modeling photos for print ads. With that she gained notoriety in her community of Triad with appearances on local North Carolina TV news and commercials. She has worked with many notable photographers, designers and received model coaching from the late Michael Maddox, top runway director, and supermodels Beverly Peele and Tomiko Fraiser.
Yvonnia plans to attend Liberty University to pursue a master's degree in Professional Christian Counselor.
She is currently employed with Purple Communication, Inc. She is also the mother of a beautiful little girl, Ava. Bridgette Jones is a motivational speaker, evangelist, and entrepreneur from Riverside, California. Bridgette has always had aspirations to work professionally within the entertainment industry as a Deaf television host, dancer, and singer.
She is one of the most inspiring Deaf speakers within the Southern California Deaf and Hearing communities. Her passion for sharing 'The Word' from her heart through ASL signs using music is rhythmic and very powerful. Despite her hearing loss, nothing has prevented Bridgette from becoming a dynamic motivational speaker. She has touched many lives and their experience has been life-changing. She received numerous awards, commendations, and certificates of appreciation for motivational speaking and evangelism ministry. During her free time, Bridgette enjoys music, songwriting, travelling, photography, biking, walking on the beach, and spending time in prayer with her Heavenly Father.
In , Candace was one of the thirteen founding members of the student organization Sisterhood at Gallaudet University and served as its president. While a student at Gallaudet University, she was invited to perform in several ASL poetry performances. Candace is a single mother of two children named Trevon and Nevaeh, and her hobbies include traveling and shopping! Specializing in digital communication, event planning and project management, Jazzy ensure that her clients are building a strong presence in the social world, that their events go off without a hitch, and that their projects are executed with perfection.
Currently residing in Washington, DC, by way of Buffalo, NY, she earned her bachelor's degree in business and communications from the Rochester Institute of Technology in In addition to filling in on responding to calls and emails at the NAD Headquarters' front desk, she also manages all social media accounts for the NAD while working closely with the Director of Communications. In her spare time, Jazzy enjoys traveling, wine tastings and quality time with her nieces and nephews.
Nia Lazarus was born in Oakland, California where she lost her hearing at 11 months old to spinal meningitis.
Determined that she would be successful despite her hearing loss, her mother immediately learned sign language for her and was a constant support throughout her education. She is currently a senior at Georgetown University where she will receive her Bachelor's degree with a major in Linguistics and a minor in Italian. Nia has had her share of accomplishments while attending college. This past July , Nia was a panelist at the 25th anniversary for the Americans with Disabilities Act with the Department of Education to share about her successful educational experiences due to the ADA.
During the summer of , she studied abroad in Siena, Italy at the Siena School of Liberal Arts for three weeks and conducted research on sign language acquisition in American Sign Language and Italian Sign Language. Subsequent to this opportunity to study abroad, Nia dedicated two summers working as an intern at the National Association of the Deaf and became inspired to become involved in law and education.
She also interned in Dr. Working under these professors, Nia gained invaluable knowledge and skills in linguistics research. Nia is currently applying to graduate school for Bilingual Deaf Education and hopes to become a teacher and later work for the World Federation of the Deaf in conjunction with the United Nations and the Department of Education to counsel on policies affecting Deaf Education and disability rights.
Her goal of becoming an educator and advocate is driven by her childhood and academic experiences and personal knowledge that there is a great need for Black Deaf role models for our Deaf youth. It is Nia's hope and desire that she will be able to inspire a new generation of many successful Black members of the Deaf Community.
Floyd McClain, Jr. He is the oldest and only Deaf child of eight children in his family. In , Floyd was a Deaf pioneer in becoming one of the first known Deaf models to enter the modeling industry in the United States. Floyd became Deafinit Models Management's first Deaf client on their roster. Together they made history and it would become a defining moment in the start toward breaking down barriers that would pave the way for future Deaf models to pursue modeling and acting careers in the entertainment industry. Floyd placed 2nd in the competition. He later participated in several fashion shows in New York and Los Angeles, had photo shoots with renowned photographers including Matthew Jordan, Tim Ricks, Stephane Tourne, and Alton Arnold, and his stunning images appeared in two magazines.
He also booked print and Internet advertisements with Sprint Relay and Nike. In , Floyd put his modeling ambitions on hold to pursue bodybuilding. Floyd was the only Deaf bodybuilder in the Mr. Fitness competitions in California, New York, and Texas, where he finished 3rd place in all competitions.
Floyd graduated from a culinary school and is now a certified chef and a CDL truck driver. Floyd is a newlywed. He currently resides in Florida with his wife Stephanie, a former deaf pageant queen from Costa Rica. Image description: "A sitting and grinning soft-butch woman with a gigantic afro and sides pulled back wears business black shirt, unbuttoned on top, and leans her left arm on her knee outside of the picture and her blue jean barely visible, in front of a mustard yellow background.
Growing up with a signing family, including one Deaf brother Awet and a hearing sister Zaid, an interpreter , and watching her polyglot parents constantly code-switch, she learned to become a xenophile and ended up studying linguistic-anthropology. She is continuing her independent research on sign language contact, language documentation, and language and gender studies.
She also owns a consultant company, DeAnna's Outreach Agency. If they didn't ask their hearing neighbors for help, they depended upon their hearing children, some as young as three years old, to act as intermediaries for business calls or medical consultations. Hoyland Kersh. Laborit, Emmanuelle. She also enjoys giving workshops on dance and sharing her passion with anyone she comes across. Its not a country that is in the midst of a drought.
She is a contributing author to three different volumes; two were published at Gallaudet University Press and the third at De Gruyter Mouton. She is currently working on a book-chapter about Deaf Queer and Intersectionality literature study for an edited book on deaf ontology Oxford University Press. Moges-Riedel is on the board for ASLized.
As an occasional artist, her printmaking and oil painting art were displayed at RIT Dyers Art Gallery for Black Deaf Artists exhibition, as well as other exhibits and charities. When not digging at an excavation site or traveling abroad for conferences, this Deaf Eritrean anthropologist also doubles as an ASL poet and moonlights in a mid-century furniture business with her wife.
He has a twin Deaf brother, Adei. He and his brother excelled in basketball through little leagues, high school and college. They had aspirations to become professional basketball players. They both played on a college basketball team briefly at Gallaudet University in Washington, D. The LA Stars provided Osei with a sign language interpreter at practices and at all games. He was twice invited to tryout for the Lakers D-League team.
Osei was featured in a mini-documentary entitled Silent Dreams: The Osei Morris Story in which he narrated his once in a lifetime experience playing with hearing players on a professional basketball team. The film was produced by Deafinit models and shot by deaf female filmmaker Tiffanie Johnson. Osei is also a Deaf model having participated in several fashion shows for Deafinit Models in California and Las Vegas.
Osei attended Mt.
Born and raised in Burundi, Isidore Niyongabo has been a champion for human rights and an advocate for access to education for Deaf children and hard of hearing children in developing countries. While growing up in a rural village tending sheep and goats when not in school, he became stricken with Spinal Meningitis at ten years old, and was brought home to die.
However, he survived the disease and began his journey as a Deaf person. He was fortunate to have supportive parents who did what it took to ensure that deafness would not interfere with his education and success. His educational journey into deafhood started with a hour ride on a bicycle with his father to the school for the Deaf that was far away from his hometown.
After beginning his education at the school for the Deaf, his father's life was tragically taken away a month later in the Burundi Genocide. After the tragedy, Isidore started studying with other Deaf children. He persevered and attended mainstreamed high school without any interpreter or any form of accommodation. He eventually graduated with honors and moved to the U. The goal was to ensure that ASL and Deaf culture continued to have a presence at the university.
It was for this initiative that he became the first Deaf homecoming king in the history of SDSU in In addition, he continues to inspire thousands of people through his extraordinary example of perseverance, self-reliance, enthusiastic effort, courage, and hope. She grew up with strong influences from her mother, an immigrant from Sierra Leone, West Africa.