Our Deaf Mentors
Meet our team of highly qualified and passionate staff who strive to provide families of deaf/hard of hearing children the tools they need to succeed in life, education, and the pursuit of happiness.
Deaf Mentor for Northern Arizona
When I first joined Deaf Mentor program in November 2019, this journey has been nothing but an inspiring and exciting journey for me! A little about me: I was deaf at the birth but did not identify me as deaf until about 3 months old. I’m an ASDB alumni. I used to live in dorms in ASDB from age 5 to 15 years old before I became a day student. I attended Gallaudet University before I got sick which forced me to return home. Before this job, I worked as Teaching Parent for the residential program of K- 12 in ASDB Tucson campus for 6 years. I joined Deaf Mentor program because I want to invest my efforts, my passion of ASL to this program and serve the families of deaf children of birth to age 5 with multi goals as such as to arise communication access between the families, their deaf family member and language acquisition for the children, provide the support in family dynamics and etc. I enjoyed seeing kids get excited to be able to communicate with their beloved parents! My desire is to see this program expand and its team and continue serving the families of deaf or H/H children in Arizona. .
Deaf Mentor for Southern Arizona & Tucson
Deaf Mentor for East Valley, Southwest Valley (Buckeye, Goodyear)
As a Deaf Mentor, I’m given an opportunity to serve families who may otherwise find it difficult to navigate a world vastly different than a child with normal hearing. Coming from a small town in Massachusetts my parents had to learn and educate themselves in order to ensure I would receive all opportunities to be successful. With my upbringing and career arc, I have learned to see and understand the imperativeness of parents to be able to communicate with their children, have an understanding of Deaf Culture and have access to resources. My innate passion to serve and advocate has guided me through 20 years of service to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.
Deaf Mentor for Northwest valley (Surprise, Peoria, Youngtown)
I was born in Bulgaria, Europe and my hearing parent found out that I was profoundly deaf when I was one year old. We moved to the USA in 2003 to pursue a better education and life. I attended a deaf school in Scraton, Pennsylvania until graduation. Before I started working as a Deaf Mentor in June 2021, I held multiple positions: Northwest Youth Corps, Teaching Assistant in 3rd and 4th grade classes in Massachusetts, Dorm Assistant, Child Care Assistant and ASL Instructor positions in Washington, DC and an instructional assistant for preschool at Phoenix Day School for the Deaf. My passion is to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing adults and children receive full access to education to allow them to enjoy new experiences and languages. It inspires me to see families who value their deaf children and show motivation to learn ASL to communicate with their children. It is never too late to learn ASL! Outside of the work world, I love to travel, outdoors, camping, team building activities, running, puzzles and art.
Deaf Mentor for Central Phoenix
I joined the Deaf Mentor Program in December 2018. For the past 10 years, I worked various jobs working with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and hearing children from Birth to 18 years old. Also, I taught American Sign Language (ASL) at a community college for 6 years. As a Deaf Mentor, I serve families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in the Phoenix area. My passion is to work with children to increase their education, language and communication skills. I do this by teaching and sharing resources about ASL and Deaf culture and encourage parents to advocate for their child and help them understand their child’s right.
In addition to being a Deaf Mentor, I am a mother of 3 girls and enjoy being outdoor- hiking, mountain biking, swimming, and exploring new places.
Karina Johnson, M.Ed.
Deaf Mentor Program Coordinator
Jennifer Scarboro, Ph.D.
Deaf Programs Director
As the Director of Deaf Programs I am tasked to support families and students outside of the traditional classroom setting, with special programs like the Deaf Mentor Program. In addition to families, I support ASDB’s partnership with the deaf community and other community organizations; I work with different groups to create and support new programs and opportunities for growth of deaf and hard of hearing children, throughout their childhood into adolescence (asdb.az.gov/CampLEAP), striving to promote healthy identity growth and development! It’s my goal to improve understanding and awareness of deaf related areas of interest inside and outside of the agency.