Supporting the Communities You Love
We are only as strong as the communities we live in. I truly believe that. If we are in a community that offers little or no support for the people who live there, how can we grow? How do relationships bloom and prosper? How can we form partnerships for projects that impact our every day?
If we don't define and support our communities, then how can we expect to establish roots, grow tall, and flourish? A person without a community is much like a stick in the sand. The wind will come, the earth will shake, and those without roots will crumble.
I believe that every person should serve their community in some way. The more you give, the more you get back. How do you give back to your community? What is your "Why"? Making a difference in your community is the best way to see economic growth, flourishing relationships, and an abundance of opportunities. Here's where I choose to serve and how.
Photography is a creative outlet for me. I love how photography allows me to meet so many different people, exercise my creativity, and explore the world of visual media and images in a whole new light. Stepping into this role as a photographer, I knew I wanted to use this platform to show people the things that were important to me. One of those things is
I can't explain my "why" without mentioning my rock, my best friend, my biggest cheerleader... My Mom. My mom had a career working with deaf children in mainstream schools. She worked with them to help reduce disconnects or misunderstandings in the classroom that occurred due largely in part to hearing loss. She worked so hard for these students, and I saw the persistence and determination she had to ensure they could succeed. She was an educator, an ally, and a friend to the deaf community. When I was a junior in college, my mom got sick, which resulted in an 80% hearing loss. Knowing I needed to find a way to communicate with my mom immediately, I went back to school after earning a degree in Marketing and earned my degree in ASL Interpreting. Potentially for a career. But more so- to continue communicating, signing, laughing, learning, and growing with my mom by my side.
ASL is integral for many children who are born deaf to hearing families. It's crucial for their mental, and emotional, development. I can't imagine what it would be like to not have that language connection I have with my mom. ASDC is that bridge for so many children and their families (as well as their friends and teachers), to reduce language deprivation and cultivate celebration for deaf children and their network of friends and families.
I do this for my family. I do this for my mom. I do this for my nephews. I do this for families like mine who thrive off of that connection and communication. That is my "why".
Did you know...
More than 90 percent of deaf* children are born to hearing adults?
More than 80 percent of deaf children undergo cochlear implant surgery before the age of 3
While cochlears can be beneficial (and are a family's/individual choice), they do not replace 100% normal hearing
Two Deaf parents only have a 10% chance of having a deaf child (requiring ASL education in either case)
The number of people who say they are fluent in ASL in the US is only (approximately) 1%.
The number of people who say they know "some" sign language in the US is (approximately) 4%
ASL is one of the LEAST offered "foreign" language options in our public school systems
How You Can Help
Be a part of my mission by simply stepping in front of my camera. Let's take pictures that you will cherish forever. These images will last a lifetime for you, as well as offer the children and families of ASDC the chance to learn Sign Language, bridge the gap between the deaf* and Hearing communities, and create stronger family relationships through more fluid communication.
Curious about this initiative and ASDC? Visit their website: deafchildren.org