Archive: On The Green
Issue: December 14, 2001 - Vol. 32 No. 6

MSSD students win Black Deaf Advocates award

By Susan Flanigan

MSSD students Clara Germany and Geoffrey Mompremier, winners of the District of Columbia Area Black Deaf Advocatesí Iva Johnson award, pose with Fred Beam (center), former DCABDA president and executive director of Invisible Hands, an organization that promotes deaf awareness through the arts.

Ciara Germany and Geoffrey Mompremier, students from the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD), have won the Iva Johnson Award from the District of Columbia Area Black Deaf Advocates (DCABDA). DCABDA made the announcement at its 20th Anniversary Black Tie Gala held in October.

The Iva Johnson Award is given to deaf high school juniors or seniors  of African heritage for their academic, social, and leadership skills. Germany and Mompremier participate in many MSSD organizations and activities.

Germany, a senior from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, served last year as junior class president, junior dorm representative, and secretary for the Student Body Government, as well as being named Miss MSSD 2000.  She served as Homecoming 2001 assistant chair and was selected Homecoming queen. Currently, Germany participates in the Presidential Classroom, serves on the yearbook committee, and is a peer mediator and a cheerleader.

Mompremier, a junior from Miramar, Fla., is president of the Junior National Association of the Deaf, a member of the Student Body Government cabinet, a peer mediator, a contestant in this yearís Junior National Black Deaf Advocate Pageant, a volleyball manager, and a varsity basketball player. Mompremier served as this yearís Homecoming chair and is the chair for the prom.

Iva Johnson, who died in 1999, was a member of DCABDA and an African American Gallaudet University alumna who held a masterís degree in social work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.  Prior to pursuing a career in social work, Johnson worked for five years as a residence education assistant in an MSSD dorm.  Fred Beam, former president of DCABDA, said that Johnson established a successful business, The Senior Objective, Inc., a home health agency for senior citizens.

"She had some problems with her health, but she did not let them stop her from achieving her dream of establishing a busi-ness," said Beam. "That is why the DCABDA character award is given in her name."

DCABDA was the first of the 27 chapters that the National Black Deaf Advocates, Inc. (NBDA), established across the United States. It was founded to promote the well-being, culture, and employment of African American people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Through its mission, NBDA aims to strengthen the educational, cultural, social, and economic advancement of deaf and hard of hearing African Americans.

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