Quota International of Northside Atlanta
Quota of Northside Atlanta is changing lives in Georgia by helping deaf and hearing impaired students attend college and summer camp.
Earlier this year Northside Quota received a $35,000 grant—the largest ever—from a private foundation, the funds to be used to help deaf and hard of hearing youth. Working with the Georgia Department of Education, we conducted the second annual statewide competition for a $5000 scholarship for a deaf or hearing impaired Georgia public school senior planning to enroll in college.
The 2013 winner is Nikki Kariminia, a student at Chattahoochee High School in suburban Atlanta who plans to study nursing. Born with moderately severe bilateral hearing impairment, she came to America with her family from Iran in 2000. She received the award earlier this month. Nikki will enter Houston Community College in September to complete prerequisites for the nursing program and will continue study at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. “I never thought of my severe hearing impairment as a disability, but as t a challenge that I have to deal with to reach my goal. I want to become a nurse and make an impact on society, “Nikki said.
Nikki is the second young Georgian to receive the $5000 John T. Wheeler Memorial Scholarship from Quota of Northside Atlanta. The 2012 winner, Joshua Foster of Macon, GA, compiled an outstanding record at Valdosta State University (VSU) and will receive a second $5000 scholarship for his sophomore year. One of triplets, Joshua was born with severe bilateral hearing impairment. With help from his brothers’ taking notes and skillful lip reading, Joshua graduated public school and entered VSU planning to study art. He will attend VSU this summer to learn American Sign Language and hopes to attend the National Technology Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, NY, in the fall of 2014.
Sarah Moore, Northside Quota’s scholarship project chair, with Northside past President Judy Killingsworth and Jo Martin, current president, have led the club in developing and conducting the scholarship program from its inception. We began with a challenge from the private foundation director responsible for the grant to “create a unique project that would be a credit to Northside and reflect Quota’s goal of service to the deaf.” President Martin and Northside members, especially Wilda Owens and Sarah Moore, will keep in contact with these two young people as their lives change and grow with Quota support.
Summer Camps for Teens and Youth
Northside Quota’s second major project has been a focus for more than a decade. Through yard sales, gift catalog and paper sales over the years, members have raised several thousand dollars to provide scholarships to Camp Juliena for deaf and hearing impaired youth and teens. In recent years, club fundraising has been supplemented by monies from the foundation for tuition scholarships, enabling more youth to have a better experience. Improvements to camping operations through additional funding have enabled camp sponsors to work toward national accreditation for their programs.
Two camps are held each summer; this year the week for teens is June 30-July 6 at Rising Fawn in North Georgia. Younger students will camp July 21-27 at Mountville near LaGrange. During their week-long experiences together, deaf and hearing impaired youth have opportunities to communicate and interact with each other in ways that are not normal to their lives in a hearing world. They learn through sports and other physical activities how to be self-reliant, confident and capable. Each week of camp closes with an original stage production showcasing the campers’ skills and talents.
At Northside Quota’s June meeting, members will hold a “snack shower” to provide beverages, crackers, popcorn, chips and other staples for campers during their two weeks of summer fun and fellowship. Camp Juliena has been offering a unique growth and learning experience for Georgia’s deaf and hearing impaired youth for several decades. Many students attend every year, growing through their experiences at youth camp into their teens. Through this program, hundreds of lives are changed forever.
June 6, 2013