Jose is a New York native from The Bronx. Nurtured by his parents who are both Deaf, he has been involved in the Deaf community all of his life. Jose has witnessed his parents struggle with communication access all of his life and was often utilized as an interpreter at a young age. Interpreting was not his initial career option, however circumstances has led him into the field he now enjoys and he has been interpreting and giving back to the Deaf community ever since. His continued efforts shows in his commitment to further his education in interpreting after a decade already working in the field by joining an ITP program and being apart of the June 2016 graduating class.
Jose first joined NYC Metro RID in 2014, serving as a Director at Large (DAL). After having witnessed much of struggles interpreters have faced through his time in the field, he wanted to do something about it and a conversation about the state of the interpreting profession with a colleague, lead him to Metro. Jose has worked on a few committees as a DAL, mostly focusing on the Communications end of NYC Metro RID and the developing workshops with NYC Metro RID’s Professional Development Committee.
Jose received his AA degree from Bronx Community College in Liberal Arts/ Psychology and pursued his BS in Applied Psychology in the Steinhardt School at NYU. After a year, he realized his heart wasn’t in becoming a Psychologist and delved deeper into his craft of interpreting. He entered LaGuardia Community College’s ASL-English Interpretation Program in 2014 and was nominated and voted President of NYC Metro RID in 2016.
Fun Fact: Jose is a Hip-Hop dancer, who studied the art-form, trained and performed for many years.
Past Secretary and Member at Large, Lydia has served on the Metro RID board since 2014. She is a proud CODA-- the only hearing person in 3 generations of Deaf family. Growing up in Chicago at a time when there were few laws enacted to accommodate the deaf and hard of hearing, she witnessed the daily struggles her family members endured. Like many CODAs, Lydia began interpreting at a young age to help provide access for her deaf parents and siblings. It was never her plan to become a professional interpreter but when she moved away from her family, she began losing her ASL fluency. It was then that she realized her life calling to serve the Deaf community, preserve her native language, and help make the hearing world more inclusive to deaf individuals.
After graduating from Phoenix College with an Associates Degree in Interpreter Preparation and a Certificate in Deaf Studies, Lydia held a staff interpreting position at the Rochester Institute of Technology for six years, working alongside some of the very best in the field. She attended RIT/NTID where she received her Bachelor's Degree in ASL English Interpretation with a minor in Psychology. She truly values the education and experience she gained in her time at NTID, as it helped her become the professional she is today. In 2012, Lydia moved to New York City to begin the next chapter of her career.
Since moving to NYC, Lydia has aligned herself with several reputable state and city agencies and has worked a number of high profile assignments. She serves as interpreter coordinator and volunteer for NYC ASL SLAM, a monthly all-inclusive event that showcases d/Deaf/HoH poetry and prose. As a blogger for the Huffington Post, Lydia writes about a variety of social, cultural, and advocacy issues surrounding the deaf community. She also provides consistently high quality ASL interpreting services and cultural competency training through her own company, LC Interpreting Services, LLC.
Fun Fact: Lydia enjoys living a holistic lifestyle. She is an all-natural kind of woman who is literally "high on life!”
Jason was born during the year of the Monkey in Orange Country, California. He was named Who's Who Among Americas High School Students in 1996 and 1997, graduating from Rancho Verde HS before joining the US Navy. After Basic Training, Jason returned to California to pursue religious and college training. Taking American Sign Language as an elective course in college opened him up to a new world and new challenges of being the outsider. During his college years, Jason worked at the California School for the Deaf, Riverside as support staff from the Riverside Unified School District working with non-verbal students (hearing and Deaf) who have disabilities which limit their ability to hear/speak.
In 2003, Jason moved to the sunny city of Buffalo, NY, after being offered full time freelance opportunities. Once all his sandals and shorts were unpacked, he quickly realized it's much colder in Western NY than in Orange County. Jason worked in and around Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Ithaca until he decided to move to New York City in 2006.
Since his relocation to NYC, Jason has lived in Flatbush, and then Gravesend, Brooklyn. His Brooklyn-related strengths are saying coffee with an accent, finding his favorite seat on the train, and knowing what real South Brooklyn pizza is supposed to taste like. (It's nothing like Dominos' version)
His work experience across New York State includes being an advocate for the Deaf at the Niagara Frontier Center for Independent Living, consultant for various interpreting referral agencies, ASL Instructor, and of course interpreting. Currently Jason is serving on the Boards of the NYC Metro RID, the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute, the New York City HIV/AIDS Planning Council, and is planning on developing his skills in Mental Health Interpreting, VRI services, and is considering running for political office one day in the future.
Fun Fact: Jason grew up on a California farm with chickens, goats, hens, roosters, sheep, pigs, and horses. And he's glad to be in New York where he doesn't have to clean up for any of them.
Lisa was born in the Bronx, New York and was raised in a tri-cultural environment. She is serving her first term on the Board of Metro RID. She is a Contact Manager with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She graduated from the College of New Rochelle with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and from LaGuardia Community College with an Associate of Arts in Deaf Studies. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree.
Lisa is a free lance interpreter and is involved in the following organizations:
Fun Fact: Lisa is an avid explorer of whatever piques her interest.
Erika Murray, our new Director at Large, is a passionate, fun-loving CODA from Maryland who moved to the NY Metro area in November 2016. Erika has jumped right in and is ready to fully contribute to the Board and its members.
Erika comes from a large Deaf family and grew up fully immersed in ASL language and culture. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Deaf Studies from Towson University in Towson, Maryland. One of her key accomplishments was spearheading a pilot study that highlights new and innovative ways to provide Internet access through ASL. The study was published in the Warwick University International Journal of Undergraduate Research.
Since she graduated in 2013, Erika has interpreted in various settings, such as VRS, educational, and general freelance. She enjoys getting a taste of everything the field has to offer.
In addition to sharpening her professional craft, Erika has an unwavering commitment to developing herself as a leader and community member. She is currently a performance coach in a renowned and rigorous leadership program.
Fun Fact: Erika thrives on nature and the outdoors and enjoys leading an active lifestyle of snowboarding, yoga, and hiking.
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Smith is from Staten Island New York. He is a recent addition to the board this year. He has been involved with sign language and the local community for 7 years. He has attended the college of Staten Island during which he was the Vice President of the ASL club and was on the board of directors for the colleges local chapter of NYPIRG. After that he transferred to the Seymour Joseph institute of American Sign Language. Graduating in 2015 he has hit the ground running with working in the interpreting field, and has since passed his NIC written. He is eager to become involved with the entire community NYC has to offer and never stops growing.
Fun fact: Tim played the violin and piano all through high school and still continues to play in his spare time.
Justine Rivera is from the Bronx, New York. She is deaf-parented and has been involved in the Deaf community and culture for all of her life. She attended high school at "47" ASL & English Secondary School. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Studio Art. She is also a graduate of the 2016 class of LaGuardia Community College’s ASL-English Interpretation Program. She is on her way to RID Certification with the recent passing of her NIC Knowledge exam. She has been involved in the interpreting field as an ASL Interpreter and Coordinator at an interpreting agency for the past 8 years.
Justine loves traveling, reading, cooking, and learning new things. She has been to 14 different countries outside of the United States and hopes to travel to more. At home she spends time with her partner and adopted 14-year old Himalayan cat.
Fun fact: Justine knows how to ride a motorcycle.
New to the board, Danielle is excited to join NYC Metro RID as an Associate Representative. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from William Paterson University in Communications and Masters in Teaching from St. Peter’s University. While working at the New York School for the Deaf in the daytime, Danielle attended night classes at Union County College’s ASL/English Interpreting Program. Since graduation in 2014, Danielle has been working as a full time freelance and educational interpreter in NYC and NJ. She has taken the EIPA, passed the NIC written exam, and is actively preparing for national certification. Danielle is a born and raised Jersey girl, but loves working and playing in NYC.
Fun fact: Danielle loves to travel and has interpreted retreats for Deaf children in Jamaica and various tours in Thailand!