I am a New Jersey native and a proud Cuban-American born to hearing Cuban parents. I currently reside in Union City, New Jersey. I am a co-founder of Zoppi Deaf Camp began in the summer of 2016 as a five-day program at the YMCA Camp Linwood MacDonald in Sandyston, NJ. The founders were very pleased to receive glowing feedback from our Deaf youths’ parents, citing: positive attitude, exploration of their empowered identities in Deaf culture, increased awareness of opportunities and a tremendous learning experience.
Currently, I am an advocate for Deaf Children of Color for low-income families to encourage them to participate in summer camp and Deaf youths of color events. I am reaching out to schools in New Jersey to educate the administrators/educators about Deaf youth of colors’ accomplishments and achievements. I am currently giving presentations to administrators and parents. As one of the founder, I wanted to gauge the success of the camp experience. We were able to do so by analyzing the feedback expressed by the parents and the campers. The results were overwhelmingly positive! It was observed that the campers, youths and teens, developed their own Deaf identity as well as increased their personal knowledge about intersectionality, colorism, leadership and self-esteem. This was made possible by the ability of our camp to provide Deaf professionals workshops in American Sign Language which helped the campers increase their education and identity through exposure to Deaf Culture. My passion is to expand Deaf youths of Color to become a better person, develop their interaction, explore identity development and good leaders and give them good opportunity!