On February 25, Isidore Niyongabo spent the morning on Frederick Campus and the afternoon on Columbia Campus talking with students.
Niyongabo's visit on Frederick Campus started first thing in the morning over breakfast with students of the Junior Black Deaf Advocates Club before the assembly. Over bagels and fruit, Niyongabo led discussions on current issues surrounding the black community.
As an accomplished motivational speaker, Niyongabo related well to students and captivated the audience with his unique story of perseverance. Raised in the midst of the Burundian genocide after nearly dying from spinal meningitis, Niyongabo faced adversities for most of his life.
"When someone tries to put you down, it is important to remember that you have a heart. Right? You have a brain. You have something unique, something strong, and something special inside of every one of you. Focus on that," Niyongabo said during the assembly.
After the morning assembly with middle school and high school students, the Junior Black Deaf Advocates Club had the opportunity to stay and participate in a follow-up talk back session with Niyongabo.
Upon arriving on Columbia Campus, Niyongabo was welcomed by upper elementary and middle school students. During the assembly, Niyongabo said a big part of his success was because of the community and focused on the importance of paying it forward in his presentation. Inspired by the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Niyongabo urged students to ask themselves, "How are you helping others?"
Throughout his visit, Niyongabo challenged everyone to believe in your inner strength and to do more for the community. MSD students and staff were inspired by his thought-provoking presentations and raved about how moving his story was.
More about Isidore Niyongabo
Isidore Niyongabo is the Director of Human Resources at Convo Communications and the current president of the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA). Learn more about Isidore Niyongabo here: https://www.nbda.org/spotlight/isidore-niyongabo
About the National Black Deaf Advocates Organization
National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) is the official advocacy organization for thousands of Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing Americans. For more than three decades, NBDA has been at the forefront of advocacy efforts for civil rights and equal access to education, employment, and social services on behalf of the Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the United States. Read more here: www.nbda.org/