World Deaf Leadership
Name: Ana Arce
Field of Study: Deaf Education and Deaf Studies
I'm Ana Kristina Arce from the Philippines. It has always been my dream to study at Gallaudet University, an academic institution known for its prestige as an institution committed towards excellence in Deaf education. My dream finally came true when I became the first Filipino scholar awarded with the World Deaf Leadership Scholarship to study at Gallaudet last year 2012. I am currently taking up a master's degree in Deaf Studies with a concentration in Cultural Studies. I expect to graduate in May 2014.
Upon completion of my graduate studies, I will return to the Philippines to set up a Filipino Sign Language (FSL)/English bilingual literacy program for Filipino Deaf youths and adults. In my home country, they are having difficulty in acquiring literacy skills due to the fact that the begin school at a late age and insufficient financial resources. My aim is to teach them Filipino Sign Language (FSL) to help them develop skills in reading and writing using bilingual methods so that they will be prepared for college or any job-training program. Aside from the WDL project, my dream career is to not only teach Deaf Studies course for Deaf college students, but to also educate parents of Deaf children and Special Education (SPED) teachers about Deaf awareness, especially training them in the use of Filipino Sign Language. From the bottom of my heart, I want to educate and see Deaf students becoming Deaf advocate-leaders, researchers, academicians, linguists, and scholars who can make a difference in our home country.
I am deeply thankful to the Nippon Foundation of Japan and Gallaudet University for the WDL scholarship. It is an amazing opportunity for me to prove my worth studying in Gallaudet to further enhance my skills and help improve Filipino Deaf lives - in education, employment, and preservation of Deaf culture.