Hello, my name is Franly. I am a fifth-year student at this university. I finally joined Latin American Deaf Club (LADC) today as the Director of Fundraising! It’s been a while since I was involved in any clubs.
Since freshman year, my instinct keep telling me I should consider joining this club because my Latin identity was ambiguous. However, I was not clear with my priorities for participating in clubs until now. Instead, I grabbed several leadership opportunities like former Student Government (SG) NTID Senator, NTID Student Assembly (NSA) speaker and several other committee positions. These experiences gave me a wealth of experience with Deaf peers and staff.
I also worked as a Step-Up Mentor during the academic year under the department of NTID’s Student Life Team (SLT). This job allowed me to work with students of color and international backgrounds in academic and social environments. I learned a new concept called “intersectionality.” This concept answered my struggle between my identities. My friends and I discussed this idea of having more than one identity. I heard several positive experiences from students of color about events hosted by clubs with ethnic backgrounds including the LADC, Ebony Club, Asian Deaf Club and Deaf International Student Association, among others. These organizations give students of color a place where they can bond, feel comfortable and get a sense of home.
At this time, I decided I wanted to do something for people of color in return. I wasn’t sure how to go about it. I did some research and found some information on the Internet about my country, the Dominican Republic. I decided I wanted to share my Hispanic history with Deaf students who have a Latin background, so I finally stepped up and joined LADC, a club where I can flourish my Hispanic identity before my time at college is over.
Since joining the club, my Hispanic identity is awakening. I feel a positive vibe and motivation to work with the executive board on LADC before my graduation. I wish I had participated in this club sooner, but at least I joined LADC now than never at all. My lesson is to “to carry your dignity and cherish your ethnic identity.” I am more excited than ever to create different fundraising ideas with Deaf and Latin people. I am looking forward to this journey. My recommendation is don’t wait too long to join a club. Grab the opportunity and do it as soon as possible!