Why give to the Nyle DiMarco Foundation?
Our goal is to ultimately change the landscape of deaf education, especially in areas involving early language acquisition and the right to sign language.
Through partnerships with national organizations and campaigns, such as Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K), NDF seeks to promote awareness on issues surrounding the importance of early language and literacy in Deaf children.
So Nyle, why are you doing this?
I’m doing it because it’s personal. I have long said that if it weren’t for the Deaf community, I would not be where I am today. As an ordinary guy faced with extraordinary opportunities, I started the Nyle DiMarco Foundation with one goal: to give back to the community I grew up in.
Before I burst onto the international modeling scene with my victory on Cycle 22 of America’s Next Top Model, I was already considered a success story. I was born into a large multigenerational Deaf family and was raised along with my two brothers by our single mother. I was taught American Sign Language (ASL) from birth, and while growing up, I attended deaf schools and received a bilingual education through ASL and English. I am a proud owner of a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Gallaudet University, the only higher education institution in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.
I once dreamed of becoming a math teacher at a deaf school, and still hope to someday return to the field of deaf education and help the next generation of young deaf children learn and grow through ASL and English. Through my Foundation and the platform I have been given, I hope to make an even wider impact on the deaf community, through supporting strong families in raising deaf children, advocating for access to language, and raising awareness of Deaf issues. The bottom line is simple: It is a human right for every Deaf person alive to be afforded the same “fair chance at life” I’ve had growing up.
How exactly will my contribution help?
- Initiatives to end language deprivation among deaf children.
- Supporting programs that will increase access to resources and services for families of deaf children.
- Outreach and education efforts with national organizations such as LEAD-K and The U.S. Department of Education.
- Advocating for policy changes that support Deaf rights.