Sasakawa International Scholarship
Name: Johanna Katz
Field of Study: Communication Studies and Spanish
My name is Johanna Katz and I come from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I attended the English Language Institute (ELI) in the fall of 2007 and became an undergraduate student in the fall of 2008. The ELI program did a wonderful job helping me to improve my English skills. When I entered the ELI, my English skills only consisted of the word "Hello." I also did not know any sign language because I was raised orally. The ELI prepared me very well. I was able to acquire new languages which are very important communication tools in my daily life as an undergraduate student. I am now a sophomore student at Gallaudet majoring in Communication Studies and Spanish. My goal is to work for the Deaf community in Argentina. I want to advocate for them with all my knowledge and experience that I have learned at Gallaudet University and through my travels around the world. I want to represent Argentina in any Deaf international events such as WFD, Deaflympics, etc.
My Sasakawa Scholarship project is to translate information from the English Language Institute and the Center for International Programs and Services into Spanish to make it accessible to potential Spanish students. I also help translate their letters of inquiries to English so they can have access to higher education.
I intend to graduate by May 2010. Upon graduation I would like to work with both the deaf and hearing immigrant population. Argentina is a country rich in culture. Unfortunately the Deaf community is behind and is struggling to get their rights because of oppression by the majority hearing society. My dream is to prevent this from happening. I want to see a respected, equal, and well developed Deaf community in Argentina.
The Sasakawa Scholarship is one of the best things that happened to me. I am very lucky to be able to continue my studies at Gallaudet University thanks to this great scholarship. They are investing in me and I am really very grateful for it. Being at Gallaudet made me think about the deaf community in Argentina. Truthfully, I never thought about helping them, or about being an activist, but after some years at Gallaudet I learned a lot and my new knowledge and experience have motivated me to support the deaf community in Argentina.