Jason was born in Orange Country, California and 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. Jason is currently serving as President on the Board of the NYC Metro Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NYCMetroRID), and is constantly looking for ways to expand accessibility services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
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.
Contact Jason at email@example.com
Candace Davider grew up in southern California in Riverside where she had many Deaf friends. Candace sought out ASL classes at Riverside Community College with the intent of becoming an interpreter. In 1997, she started working as support staff at the California School for the Deaf. Candace later moved to Utah where she had the opportunity to be mentored by fantastic Utah Valley State College interpreters. Moving back to California in 2000, Candace began freelancing which also meant learning to navigate the California highways with old school paper maps! Candace became certified in 2003 and moved to NYC in 2006. She loves living and working in city. Through her 20 years as an interpreter, Candace gained a wide breath of experience in VRS, K-12, Religious, Post Secondary, Platform, Government and Concert settings. Her favorite jobs include what she calls the trifecta: great team, great job, great client! Those days don't feel like work at all.
Fun fact: Candace had a foray into stand up comedy. She still loves telling a good joke!
Contact Candace at VicePresident@nycmetrorid.org
Andria Alefhi has been a freelance certified interpreter since 2002. She most enjoys interpreting for Deaf immigrants, legal interpreting and teaming with CDIs. She acted as the remote liason for NYC for the 2017 RID National Conference: Lead Together. Her workshops are Interpreting the Job Interview and The Aided Community. She loves creating shows and opportunities for creative communities, travel and yoga.
Contact Andria at Secretary@nycmetrorid.org
Now entering her third year on the board, Danielle is excited to represent members as a Director at Large. 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!
Contact Danielle at Directoratlarge1@nycmetrorid.org
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 Erika at firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana is new to Metro RID as a board member but definitely not new to the community. She has seen it all as a social worker and as a pre-certified Deaf interpreter.
She was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan to flying hands. Moved to NYC at age four along with her Deaf family. You can say she is really a New Yorker. After graduating from Long Island University with a degree in Psychology, Diana quickly signed up for audiology related courses at Marymount Manhattan College. She studied linguistics, phonetics, speech science, and the like. She immersed herself into the auditory world as it was fascinating for her- and she also hoped to be a Deaf audiologist. However the universe had different plans for her.
While working for FEGS (formerly NYSD), Diana began exploring the role of a Deaf Interpreter. She took several workshops and felt it was her true calling. Diana began interpreting for the community in the summer of 2014. The more she interpreted, the more she loved it. After taking the Deaf Interpreter Conference II in Pennsylvania, Diana knew it was time to make it official. She decided to pursue for the certification and passed the knowledge exam. She plans to take the performance exam when the time comes.
Currently, Diana works full time at New York Foundling with an incredible team, making a difference in every family with deaf members. Diana continues to interpret on a regular basis in the community, working with some of the best ASL and Deaf interpreters.
Being in the social work field for approximately seven years, Diana is familiar with most resources in NYC and also sees the gaps in the community in terms of accessibility, equality, and Deaf rights. She is very involved in the community and often collaborates with many professionals (including lawyers, mental health providers, activists, and so on). As a board member, Diana is eager to work with the team and make noises in the community, no matter how big or small!
Fun facts: Diana knows Russian Sign Language and is currently learning Israeli SL; She is an adrenaline junkie; In her downtime, Diana enjoys baking and reading a GOOD book.
Contact Diana at Directoratlarge3@nycmetrorid.org
Originally from Baltimore, Patrick moved to NYC last year as a freelance interpreter and has quickly become involved in both the Deaf and Interpreting communities. He is new to the Board and is proud to join NYC Metro RID as Director at Large!
Patrick comes from a large family of 19 brothers and sisters with a Deaf Sister and a Deaf Aunt. His single mother founded a non-profit in Baltimore for the DeafPlus population, whom he grew up with. He worked there as a Braille teacher to their Deaf-Blind Day Program while attending the Interpreter Training program at CCBC in Catonsville, MD.
In both the DC and NYC Metro areas, Patrick has worked and collaborated with many of the companies and agencies providing ASL Interpretation services. Back home he worked in the Washington DC Metro area in the Government setting and has travelled the country for his interpreting work in the Performing Arts. He also started a program in Baltimore that helps provide ASL Interpreters to small theaters that are unable to pay for it, providing access to Baltimore's unique and immersive theater culture. He believes theater should be accessible to all people who want to participate.
That being said, you will probably find him in a theater watching a show. He goes often with the belief that every show deserves to be seen at least twice.
Fun Fact: Patrick is a former dancer and began dancing at a very young age. He performed with groups all the way through high school, graduated from a performing arts high school, and trained at The Alvin Ailey School here in NYC!
Contact Patrick at Directoratlarge4@nycmetrorid.org
Colton Wakefield is a NYC transplant from Texas. He is excited to join NYC Metro RID as an Associate Representative. He attended Texas Tech University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Criminology. After graduation he attended Gallaudet’s summer ASL program which inspired him to attend San Antonio College’s interpreter training program. Since graduation, he started working as a freelance interpreter in Texas and continued working in NYC. He has recently started law school as a full-time student at Fordham University School of Law and continues to maintain a balance between school and preparing for national certification.
Fun Fact: When Colton is not studying, he is always on the hunt to find the best Tex-Mex food in Manhattan.
Contact Colton at AssociateRep@nycmetrorid.org