2003 Volunteers of the Year

Barbara Mathis, Quota International of Bakersfield, CA

Barbara Mathis

Quota International of Bakersfield, CA

A Quota member since 1982, Barbara Mathis is currently serving her second term as first vice-president of the Bakersfield Quota club. She has served as president, first and second vice-president, secretary, ways and means chairman, and service chairman. On the district level, she has been scholarship chairman and parliamentarian. Barbara, who is deaf, was educated in a residential deaf program and graduated from Gallaudet University. She uses both spoken English and ASL to communicate. Barbara has been the counselor for the deaf at the California State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, assisting hundreds of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in receiving training and successful job placement. She has tirelessly advocated for the rights of the deaf and educated employers in every field of business. Barbara is also on the board of directors for the Bakersfield Club of the Deaf, and, in 1999, she helped to establish the advisory board for B-GLAD Deaf Services. She currently serves as the advisory board president. In 2000, she started “Deaf Ladies Night Out,” a chance for deaf women of all ages to come together and share their lives. Barbara is also a talented “sign and song” performer, bringing enjoyment to many with beautiful renditions of songs using sign language. In the deaf community, people are given a “name sign,” a nickname of sorts that is used instead of spelling out that person’s name. It is no coincidence that Barbara’s name sign is the same as the ASL sign for “to improve or make better.” Barbara’s dedication and enthusiasm have indeed helped to make her community a better place for everyone.

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