[lg policy] ISU-Meridian DACA student graduates in sign language interpreting

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Sat Apr 28 10:25:57 EDT 2018


ISU-Meridian DACA student graduates in sign language interpreting

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   - Apr 27, 2018 Updated 15 hrs ago
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[image: Napoles]

Giovanna Marquez Napoles is a first-generation college student and DACA
recipient. She will be graduating on May 7 with her degree in sign language
interpreting from Idaho State University-Meridian.
COURTESY ISU-MERIDIAN

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Soon-to-be-graduate Giovanna Marquez Napoles is a first-generation college
student fluent in three languages — English, Spanish and American Sign
Language.

Napoles is graduating from Idaho State University-Meridian on May 7, where
she will receive her degree in sign language interpreting. The ceremony
will take place at 6 p.m. at the Boise Centre, 850 W. Front St., Boise.

Napoles is one of several students at ISU-Meridian nominated for the
ISU-Meridian Student Excellence Award.
Experience as a DACA student

Napoles was born in Mexico and moved to Emmett, Idaho, when she was 3 years
old. Growing up she said her parents pushed her to do her best in school
and hid some of the factors that would affect her future as a someone who
was born outside the United States.

One of the facts they withheld was Napoles inability to go to college if
the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy didn’t pass.
During Napoles senior year in high school in 2012, DACA was enacted as a
policy, and Napoles parents’ were ecstatic.

“DACA has become very important in being able to achieve all my goals,"
Napoles said. "Without it I wouldn’t have been able to apply for
scholarships or get my license, as well as being able to get jobs."

Even with the opportunities DACA provided, Napoles still had disadvantages
she had to overcome.

Neither of Napoles parents could co-sign student loans. In order to make
student payments, during the summers between school years Napoles worked as
a bus driver for a rafting company in Wyoming.

Napoles said she lived out of her car during these months.
Sign Language

Napoles was first introduced to sign language her senior year of high
school when a deaf student came to Emmett High School.

“I was so eager to meet them, before I met them I started learning the ABCs
and when I finished … I tried to say hi and spell everything,” Napoles
said. “Then that person took out their cell phone, basically telling me I
was taking too long.”
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While getting her associates degree at College of Southern Idaho in Twin
Falls, Napoles took a sign language class to fill a required credit.

“After the first semester I was just drawn to the language and culture,”
Napoles said.

She said ISU-Meridian was only colleges in Idaho that offered a sign
language interpreting major, so she applied there after getting her
associates degree in sign language.
After graduation

Napoles continued to stay friends with this individual and occasionally
they chat video chat.

“Every year when I see her or talk to her, we can talk about more things,”
Napoles said. “As my skill improves, it opens up more conversations between
us.”

Napoles said each region of the U.S. has different regional signs, similar
to dialects, and after graduating Napoles hopes to find a job out of Idaho
so she can keep growing her vocabulary.

Because of sign language’s visual quality, Napoles said any story comes to
life.

“It’s a very beautiful language,” Napoles said.

Napoles has spent the last several months in Houston, Texas, doing an
internship with a company that does sign language interpretation.

Napoles encouraged readers to take a sign language class to learn the
language and more about the deaf community.

“Currently we are having a harder time really allowing ourselves to be open
to different types of people,” Napoles said. “That is what has drawn me to
learning this language is having to be very tolerant and open minded to all
different types of people.”


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=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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