As a Client Support Specialist for DCARA, LaRonda provides a variety of services to deaf and hard of hearing senior citizens every day. She meets with clients to provide peer counseling, advocacy, document translation and communication assistance. She also coordinates interpreter services. Her office is located at Fremont Oak Gardens, an apartment complex with 50 apartments.
In addition to meeting with several clients each day, LaRonda provides classes in exercise and nutrition twice a week. “I coordinate Community Education two or three times a month,” said LaRonda. “These classes include topics that cover deaf issues, health issues and senior issues. I teach a lot of independent living skills to help seniors stay connected to their world and live independently.”
LaRonda holds a B.A. degree in Deaf Studies and an M.S. in Counseling. In addition to her degrees, LaRonda holds certificates in Parent Education, Non-Profit Management and Adult Education.
“I have a lot of paper to hang on my wall of fame,” LaRonda chuckled.
Before coming to DCARA, LaRonda worked as a Parent Educator for deaf and hard of hearing parents for eight years. She spent ten years as a School Counselor at the Washington School for the Deaf. “I believe my jobs have chosen me,” LaRonda said. “I never went out looking for them. Most often, they have fallen in my lap. I have had a number of bosses come up to me and simply say ‘I want you to come work for me. Want a job?’ I lick my finger, hold it up to the wind and trust in the will of heaven. I know that wherever I go, I’m supposed to be there. The one thing I choose to do is remain serving the Deaf Community.”
LaRonda has a piece of advice that she’d like to share with those who are exploring their life path:
Listen with the ear of your heart. The path we choose is not always the path we think we want. Our paths often choose us. My advice is be true to what you know about yourself and follow your bliss. If you don’t know what your bliss is, take risks to find out. Live life outside of the box a bit and trust your journey will become you.
Don’t be afraid to dance, just get out there and boogie! Take risks. Try new things. Don’t limit yourself. Burst forth. You will discover how beautiful you are and how enriching life can be when you just get out there and give it your best!”
For more on LaRonda, visit her blog: The Ear of my Heart.